How to Stop Being Distracted and Do What Matters: Interview with Nir Eyal

Distraction is no friend to a writer. But we all have had our dance with her before, haven’t we? She is everywhere, all around us, from the devices we use to the websites we visit, to how we consume our news and media. If we are going to truly do work that matters, however, we can’t just fight distraction. We have to understand it.

Interview with Nir Eyal

In this week’s episode of The Portfolio Life, I have a conversation with behavioral designer Nir Eyal, who helps people design behaviors to form healthy habits. This conversation was nothing short of enlightening as Nir helped me better understand why I get so distracted, what I can actually do about it, and why “more willpower” isn’t the answer.

If you’ve ever thought that you were addicted to technology or been curious (more likely, frustrated) about why you keep putting off important tasks and just can’t seem to focus, then this interview is for you.

You can listen in to our conversation here:

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How most distraction starts from within and why all behavior stems from the relief of discomfort.
  • Why time management is pain management. If you don’t understand the discomfort you are trying to escape, then you’ll never master distraction.
  • Why you can’t separate what makes something engaging from what makes something potentially addictive.
  • The danger behind the word “addictive”.
  • How to make yourself indistractable.
  • The three nutrients kids are missing and why kids are drawn to technology, plus how to help them become indistractable.

Nir is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable. You can find him at