Pings, Rings and Dings: How to Become Indistractable
Posted on 3rd July 2023 at 08:56
This week on The Hack Podacst Leon, Paul and Dean talk all about Getting Others To The Next Level & The Two Sides Of Leadership
Learn How to Become Indistractable
Managing our attention span is one of the biggest challenges, as our attention is constantly pulled in different directions. We are constantly bombarded with notifications from our devices, emails, texts, and social media. It is easy to get distracted and lose focus on what we are trying to accomplish.
Fortunately, some strategies can help us become more "indistractable," which means being able to filter distractions and stay focused on the task or activity at hand.
In today's podcast, Leon, Dean, and Paul discuss practical ways to avoid distractions. Leon shares his thoughts on a book called Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal, which he thinks is a game-changing read.
Distractions from the Past
The idea of being distracted by new technology is not a new concept. During different decades, various forms of media have been perceived as addictive. Even in the 1700s, people were addicted to new and exciting things. Novel addiction was an evil thing in the 1700s, and in the 1950s, telephones were seen as a massive addiction for teenagers giving them "egos which they couldn't control". In the 1950s, radios were seen as the cause; one newspaper clipping refers to Modern Children Prefer Radio to Cops & Robbers. While in the 1960s, it was TV causing a stir and Later, in the 1980s, video games were considered the latest threat to young people's attention. The internet has become a significant part of our lives since it went mainstream in the 1990s, but it was considered a potential addiction concern 30 years ago.
Today, we can become distracted by mobile phones and social media. This new technology is designed to capture our attention with notifications or “pings”, “rings”, and “dings”. It can be difficult to resist the urge to check our phones when these notifications come up.
We tend to be afraid of the unknown. People will always be fearful of new technologies, as they are unsure how to handle them, but this doesn’t mean we should quit using them altogether.
Master Internal Triggers
Understand the root cause of distraction
Distraction is a sign of disfunction-we need to look at our internal triggers such as boredom, loneliness, uncertainty and fatigue. When we become aware of these triggers, we can take steps to minimise their impact on our attention span.
All motivation is a desire to escape from discomfort
Human nature means we will do anything that makes life easier. If a behaviour was previously effective at providing relief, we're likely to continue using it as a tool to escape discomfort.
Anything that stops discomfort is potentially addictive, but that doesn't make it irresistible
If you know the drivers of your behaviour, you can take steps to manage them.
Deal with distraction from within. If we can identify the things we tend to get distracted while doing, we can determine what discomforts or internal triggers we feel immediately prior to the distraction. A good example could be needing to work on a big project; the distraction would be checking email instead of getting on with the task in hand-perhaps because you are feeling overwhelmed, pressured or afraid to get started as you know it will be boring!
Make Time for Traction
Time Management is Pain Management
Distractions cost us time, and like all actions, they are spurred by the desire to escape discomfort.
Four Psychological factors make satisfaction temporary
Our tendencies towards boredom, negativity bias, rumination and hedonic adaption conspire to make sure we're never satisfied for long.
Dissatisfaction is responsible for our species' advancements as much as its faults.
It is an innate power that can be channelled to help us make things better. If we want to master distraction, we must learn to deal with discomfort.
Hack Back External Triggers
External triggers often lead to distraction
Cues in our environment, like the pings, dings and rings from devices as well as interruptions from other people, frequently take us off track.
External Triggers aren't always harmful
If an external trigger leads us to traction, it serves us.
We must ask ourselves: Is this trigger serving me, or am I serving it?
Then we can hack back the external triggers that don't serve us.
Prevent Distraction with PACTS
Being indistractable does not only require keeping distractions out
It also necessitates reining ourselves in.
Precommitments can reduce the likelihood of distraction
They help us stick with the decisions we've made in advance.
Precommitments should only be used after the other three indistractable strategies have already been applied.
Don't skip the first 3 steps!
An effort pact prevents distraction by making unwanted behaviours more difficult to do. In the age of the personal computer, social pressure to stay on task has largely disappeared. No one can see what you are working on, so it is easier to slack off. Working next to a colleague or friend for a set period of time can be a highly effective pact.
A price pact adds a cost to getting distracted. It has been shown to be a highly effective motivator, as people are less likely to indulge in distractions when there is a tangible cost attached.
Share with others
Teaching others solidifies your commitment, even if you're still struggling.
Identity greatly influences our behaviour
People tend to align their actions with how they see themselves.
The modern world is full of distractions; it is essential to be aware of which distractions are pulling us away from our goals and objectives. Mastering internal triggers first by understanding what drives our behavior and putting measures in place to manage these triggers, and hacking external stimuli that don’t serve us will help us reduce distractions. Making effort, price, and identity pacts can further help us reduce and prevent the things holding us back. We need to take ownership of our attention, and with the right strategies, anyone can be indistractable and stay focused on their goals.
Give it a go today, try doing something differently-turn off notifications, put your mobile device in focus mode, make a PACT to change your behavior, and challenge yourself to stay focused. Distraction might feel good at the moment, but you will be more productive in the long run if you don't give in to it.
See what works best for you and take control of your attention!
Call to Action:
The world we live in is full of tech that is constantly changing how we go about our daily lives. Technological advances are faster than ever, and it's important to embrace innovation and think differently.
Listen to The Hack Podcast for insights on transformation and change, with a focus on People, Process, and Technology. Leon McQuade, Paul Longely, and Dean Bulfeild share their perspective on the technology drivers shaping the world, bringing a leader's eye back to East Yorkshire. The podcast offers straight-talk and smart tech.
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