Becoming Indistractable: The Battle For Control Over My Time
I’ve been struggling to keep up with the blog. I knew I would eventually. I think there are a few factors in this - certainly not feeling accountable is one of them, general summer stuff is one for sure. But something else is going on in my life and I am slowly starting to figure it out. It has a lot to do with the intentional allocation of my time. You’ve heard me speak a little about this in “What’s Your Backflip?” I talk about finding the best time to do certain activities and not wasting a lot of time doing certain things outside of those windows. I am writing this at about 6:30am because I know this is my writing time. My mind is fresh, without the clutter of a day’s thoughts and complications. I know exactly what I want to say here, and I just hope I actually say it well now.
Coming home from the airport last night, I was listening to The Ezra Klein Show from Vox. It’s a great interview podcast and I would highly recommend it if you are looking to hear some of the best and brightest talk in deep terms about complex issues. On this week’s episode with Ezra was Nir Eyal. You probably don’t know you he is unless you work in technology but in essence Nir wrote the playbook for how technology companies can keep us captivated with their software. Things like why we are obsessed with “likes” and general feedback loops. Basically he’s a LOT of the reason people are hooked to their phones. He denies it, but he is - a topic for another blog post maybe.
They were talking about his NEW book (likely an attempt to absolve him of how tech companies used his first book) called Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life and at around the 50 min mark of the episode they have an amazing conversation about time, and distractions, and being intentional with your choices. I realized right there that this was a big problem for me. I am too distracted. I am not being intentional enough with how I use my time. Let me give you an example. Here is my calendar for next week:
You can see, it looks pretty empty. The thing is, it’s actually NOT. There are other meetings, a bunch of Google Hangouts and a whole lot of other things happening next week. Between my day job at Logics Academy and the podcast, I am a busy dude. What you DON’T see here is anything related to writing, or exercise, or blocking off family time - the three things I struggle with the most. I am not being intentional with my time. I am too distracted. It is time for me to become “Indistractable” What I do, I want to do with intent. I want to be more aware of the “rings, dings, and things” that are distracting me from my intent, and I want to focus on what I need to focus on at the time I need to focus on it. Here is my new schedule:
The purpose of these new blocks of time is to be intentional in those times. Maybe its just as much to define what I SHOULDN’T be doing during those times as much as what I should be doing. It’s about being indistractable. These blocks of time are for these things. They are important things that deserve my whole attention.
If you find yourself struggling with how you use your own time. I suggest you take a listen to the podcast above. Think about what is pulling you away from your intent, what is distracting you. Also continue to think about what times you have in your day that seem to be best suited to certain tasks, like me with my writing time. I hope this helps you become a little more indistractable yourself.