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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
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This highly effective technique harnesses the power of “loss aversion” to help you reach your goals Probably the only research paper I’ll ever call “delicious” is one called, “A Tale of Two Pizzas.” In the study, researchers offered one group of people plain pizzas, plus the option to add ingredients for an additional charge. To a second group, they offered topping-loaded pizzas, with the chance to remove ingredients and pay less. Same thing, right? You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Need Motivation? Make a Price Pact https://www.nirandfar.com/price-pact/ 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 pinky promise is a surefire way to make you do what you say you’ll do. People have a long history of breaking promises, to themselves and to others. It’s not lying, per se—rather, it’s a lack of follow-through. We say we’re going to exercise four times a week, or finish that big project, or finally write that blog post, or whatever. But when it comes down to it, we don’t do it. We get distracted and procrastinate. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Pinky Promise: Stick To your Goals–Or Lose Some Blood https://www.nirandfar.com/pinky-promise/ 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
From Homer to Franzen, productive people lean on precommitments as a proven way to stick to their goals. Famed director Quentin Tarantino “never use[s] a typewriter or computer.” He prefers to write screenplays by hand in a notebook. These methods may seem extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures. These luminaries understand that focus requires not only keeping distraction out, but also keeping ourselves in—learning to practice self-restraint when we would otherwise fall off track. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Tame Daily Distractions With a ‘Precommitment Pact’ https://www.nirandfar.com/precommitment-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
Contrary to the “ego depletion” theory, willpower is not a depletable resource if you know how to use it wisely. It’s common to hear people complain about feeling “burned out” or “spent” these days. However, these terms conjure a completely incorrect view of willpower–based on a theory psychologists call “ego depletion.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Good News! Your Willpower Isn’t Limited–Don’t Believe the “Ego Depletion” Theory https://www.nirandfar.com/ego-depletion 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: Author, speaker, and host of “The Hive Podcast,” Nathalie Nahai’s work explores the intersection between persuasive technology, ethics, and the psychology of online behavior. Following her best-selling book, Webs of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion, Nathalie’s next book, Business Unusual: Values, Uncertainty and the Psychology of Brand Resilience, is about the psychology behind recent changes in expectations from employees and customers about businesses and their products. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The New Norms of Business: Interview with Nathalie Nahai https://www.nirandfar.com/nathalie-nahai-interview/ 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: Entrepreneur, speaker and consultant, Dorie Clark is a recognized leader in the field of executive education, a topic she teaches at Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. She has developed over 20 LinkedIn Learning courses on executive education, viewed by hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Dorie is the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, which was named the top leadership book by Inc. magazine and one of the top 10 business books of the year by Forbes. Her latest book, The Long Game, delves into the challenge of strategizing for the long term in a world that prioritizes short-term gains. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: How to Play The Long Game: Interview with Dorie Clark https://www.nirandfar.com/long-game-dorie-clark/ 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 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
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Comments (3)

Maryam Nikfard

Thank you

Oct 30th
Reply

mustapha belyamani

thanks Nir!!!

Jan 30th
Reply

Dee

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

Aug 6th
Reply
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