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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain
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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Author: Nir Eyal

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Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
218 Episodes
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When faced with a challenge, where do you find the insight to move your life forward? Last year, over fifteen million books were sold in the self-help genre.1 That doesn’t account for the videos, courses, and workshops that fuel this multibillion-dollar industry. Include business and diet books, and that number balloons to over $1.7 billion spent on advice-seeking books.2 But there’s a secret the gurus don’t want you to know—many of the answers to life’s most important questions can be found inside of you, for free. It’s called introspection. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Here Are The 4 Simple Introspection Steps That Will Boost Self Awareness https://www.nirandfar.com/introspection/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
You’ve surely heard the protest chant: “What do we want? “[Insert social change here.]” “When do we want it?” “NOW!” But imagine walking by a protest and hearing this: “What do we want?” “We’re not really sure!” “When do we want it?” “Whenever you get around to it is fine! Thank you!” Doesn’t have the same ring to it. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact. https://www.nirandfar.com/making-accountability-pacts/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Recently, as I was clearing the dinner table, I asked my daughter if she could wash the dishes. “I was going to, Dad,” she said. “But now that you’ve asked me to, I don’t want to anymore.” I should have known better. This was a classic example of psychological reactance. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Real Reason Why You Sabotage Your Own Goals https://www.nirandfar.com/psychological-reactance/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
To-do lists are supposed to keep us on task. It turns out they do the opposite. I’ve written about the many reasons why. To regain focus and be more productive, it’s far better to create a weekly schedule using a technique called “timeboxing“. You can’t say you got distracted unless you know what you got distracted from. That is, without knowing how you want to spend your time, there’s no way you’ll spend it intentionally. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: How to Stay on Schedule Even When You Go Off Track https://www.nirandfar.com/how-to-stay-on-schedule/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
There’s a much more effective way to conquer your vices. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there’s a scene where a magical plant called Devil’s Snare captures Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. The vines wrap around their bodies like hungry pythons as they struggle to escape. “You have to relax,” Hermione tells the other two. “If you don’t, it’ll only kill you faster.” “Kill us faster?!” shouts Ron, suddenly struggling even more. “Now I can relax!!” Kudos to J.K. Rowling for this brilliant illustration of a psychological phenomenon called ironic processing, in which deliberate attempts to avoid certain thoughts make those thoughts even more persistent. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Stop Thinking About Your Bad Habits! [Do This Instead.] https://www.nirandfar.com/thinking-about-bad-habits/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
You can create some powerful motivation hacks by learning techniques from the persuasion business. The reason why you hate being micromanaged by your boss is the same reason why, as a kid, you refused to put your coat on when your mom told you to bundle up. We’re all wired with a knee-jerk “don’t tell me what to do!” response called psychological reactance—and it can kick in even when it’s you telling yourself what to do or trying to motivate yourself. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Steal These 3 Advertising Secrets–To Use As Motivation Hacks https://www.nirandfar.com/motivation-hacks/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
I interview psychologist Jocelyn Brewer, founder of Digital Nutrition.™ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
In my review of The Social Dilemma, I challenged the filmmakers’ rather extreme view that huge swaths of people are “addicted to technology,” that social media is like a dangerous drug that’s hijacking people’s brains, and that big tech companies are trapping people in something akin to The Matrix movie. In response, I got some colorful comments, such as (paraphrasing): “Nir, check your intellectual privilege: you and I are smart enough to escape the trap of social media, but everyone is addicted, and it’s destroying the world.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Can We Please Stop Calling Everyone "Addicted"? https://www.nirandfar.com/stop-calling-everyone-addicted/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
When I recently came across the headline “The World’s Most Influential Values, In One Graphic,” I couldn’t help but click–a good data visualization is like catnip for me. The chart, compiled by global research company Valuegraphics, shows the results of 500,000 surveys, across 152 languages, about what people think are common values. A few of the answers on the list: freedom of speech, leisure, financial security. I was disappointed. Not because any of those things are bad, but because they aren’t actually values. For the survey, the authors defined values as “what we care about,” which is the definition that a lot of people probably have. The thing is, what we care about changes every day–every minute, even–and that’s why it’s hard to agree on common values. When your kid is throwing a tantrum, you care about getting some peace and quiet. When you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic with an empty fuel tank, you care about whether there’s a gas station nearby. But these things are not your values. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: 20 Common Values [and Why People Can’t Agree On More] https://www.nirandfar.com/common-values/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
People are always saying “there aren’t enough hours in the day” to get stuff done. And yet research suggests that the average working American has four hours of leisure per day. If we have so many hours to play with every day, why do so many of us feel like we don’t have time to accomplish our big goals? You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: How to Escape the Vicious Cycle of Distraction https://www.nirandfar.com/vicious-distraction-cycle/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Timeboxing is the nearest thing we have to productivity magic, yet most people don’t utilize it. Here’s how to overcome the top 3 reasons why. “I can’t seem to get enough done.” “I’m always distracted.” “Why can’t I focus?” I hear these complaints from my clients and readers all the time. But when I recommend perhaps the most effective technique ever devised to help people stay on track, most of them balk. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Timeboxing: The Most Powerful Time Management Technique You’re Probably Not Using  https://www.nirandfar.com/timeboxing/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
The evidence is overwhelming: we are far more powerful than the technology that is supposedly mind-controlling us. It’s not even close. As I’ve discussed in other articles, we need to give ourselves more credit. Instead of passively accepting the idea that we’re all being puppeteered by some sort of menacing tech bogeyman, we can hack back distractions. To be clear, too much social media can be harmful. No one disputes that too much of all sorts of good things can be bad, whether it’s too much news or too much booze. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Why Do People Believe the ‘Social Media is Mind Control’ Myth? https://www.nirandfar.com/social-media-and-mind-control/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir’s Note: this article is a collaboration between myself and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Jon researches moral and political psychology and business ethics. He has delivered four TED Talks and written two best-selling books. Recent research in social science has parents concerned about whether deep immersion in digital technologies is bad for their children. A variety of studies find that rates of teen anxiety, depression, and self-harm have risen since 2012 in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, although the evidence that this rise was caused by smartphones and social media is hotly debated. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Children and Technology: 3 Things Parents Need To Know https://www.nirandfar.com/children-and-technology Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir’s Note: What do Bill Nye, break dancer Crazy Legs, cyber illusionist Marco Tempest, and economist Nouriel Roubini have in common? They’ve all been guests at a little-known “Influencers dinner” regularly hosted by behavioral scientist Jon Levy at his New York apartment. Jon is the author of You’re Invited: the Art and Science of Cultivating Influence, a New York Times bestseller about the value of creating meaningful connections and building trust with the people that can most influence your life. Jon’s dinner parties and his decade-old club of “Influencers” have been featured in Forbes and Business Insider. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Influencers Dinner: An Interview with Jon Levy https://www.nirandfar.com/influencers-dinner-jon-levy Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Try schedule-syncing instead. You’ve probably read this advice before: “The best thing you can do for your productivity is to say no more often.” By freeing yourself from unnecessary tasks, the thinking goes, you can spend more time working on the things that really matter. At first blush, this sounds smart. Many things people ask of you aren’t really necessary or can be accomplished more efficiently by someone else. But in practice, this advice often backfires. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: “Just Say No” Is Bad Productivity Advice https://www.nirandfar.com/productivity-and-saying-no/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
‘Dark patterns’ aren’t always malicious mind control. They’re often a symptom of disjointed company culture. Will the Times change?’ A recent New York Times op-ed, titled “Stopping the Manipulation Machines,” derided the use of dark patterns: design tricks that push people to do things online by confusing or deliberately inconveniencing them. Kudos to the writer, Greg Bensinger, a member of the Times’ editorial board, who does a laudable job calling out obnoxious dark patterns. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The New York Times Uses the Very Dark Patterns it Derides https://www.nirandfar.com/cancel-new-york-times/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Social networks can help addicted users while leaving the rest of us alone. If they wanted to. About five years ago, I sat down in a series of meetings with leaders from Reddit, Snapchat, Facebook, and other social media networks. My goal was to discuss social media addiction and how companies might self-regulate to curb it. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on Can We Regulate Social Networks To Curb Addiction—Without Making Them Suck? https://www.nirandfar.com/social-media-regulation/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir’s Note: Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Jackie Bavaro about her latest book, Cracking the PM Career—a complete guide to the skills, frameworks, and practices you need to become a great product manager. Jackie serves as the Head of Product Management at Asana and has held senior product manager jobs at Microsoft and Google, where she launched Google Place Search and Geo-IP Based Local Search. Based on her experiences hiring other product managers, she wrote her first best-selling book, Cracking the PM Interview, with co-author Gayle McDowell. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on So, You Want To Become a Great Product Manager? [Q&A with Jackie Bavaro] https://www.nirandfar.com/becoming-a-product-manager/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
A classic survivor test shows us how the illusion of control can sidetrack us from our mission when things get uncomfortable Let’s try something. Imagine you’ve just crash-landed somewhere in the Sonoran Desert, deep in the American Southwest. Though the aircraft is now a smoldering wreck, you miraculously survived, uninjured and now find yourself all alone as the sole survivor. Temperatures are topping 110 degrees, and you’re stranded. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on Why the Illusion of Control Is Hurting Your Goals https://www.nirandfar.com/illusion-of-control/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Can we create a future where people no longer have to work at jobs they hate? In 100 years, some things we consider normal today will make people say, “Wow, how barbaric—I can’t believe people did that! How were they okay with that?” Wage slavery, I hope, will be one of those things. You can read the NirAndFar blog post: Are You a Wage Slave? https://www.nirandfar.com/wage-slaves/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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Comments (2)

mustapha belyamani

thanks Nir!!!

Jan 30th
Reply

Dee

The particularly devilish scrolls...😄😄 ,indeed.

Aug 6th
Reply
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