Practical insights for leaders

Can’t focus? It’s not just ‘how you are’

Learn to improve your emotional regulation…

My personality type is definitely attracted to ‘shiny new’ things and initiatives. Thankfully, I believe personality indicates a person’s tendency, not their destiny. 

In the past, I used to find myself making progress in many directions, but none of it was enough to move the needle on my main objectives. After much experimentation (staying laser-focused on my quarterly ‘rocks’, getting to the root cause of any discomfort, and blocking social media and news websites from my devices), I have finally found a status quo that works for me. But I am not complacent.

With this in mind, discovering this month’s interview with Nir Eyal felt like a double dose of serendipity. First, it was an empowering reminder that scattered focus is a challenge we can address (and not just ‘part of how we are’), and second, it gives concrete strategies for beating distraction and hitting more of your goals in the coming year.

To anyone struggling with poor focus, a mountain of to-do’s and the irresistible draw of shiny new things, this one’s for you!


Listen: Nir Eyal’s Secrets to Staying Focused | Podcast interview | 1h24 mins

Behavioural designer and best-selling author Nir Eyal coined the term indistractable to describe the power people have to pull themselves away from distractions and achieve what really matters. And the best part? We can all develop it.

In this fascinating interview, Nir gives us a ringside seat to his own experiences with distraction and practical tips for becoming more productive. Click through to hear or read

  • Why distraction isn’t just about ADHD, tech or what’s going on around you
  • A simple ten-minute rule to help you overcome distraction triggers
  • Why to-do lists aren’t the solution, and what to do instead
  • Leadership advice for improving focus in your team or workplace


Cadence Tool: Focus and Productivity Cheat Sheet

What steps could you take today to start moving the needle on what counts?

This month’s Cadence Tool summarises the focus and productivity strategies honed by Tim Ferris (The 4-Hour Workweek), Cal Newport (Deep Work) and Nir Eyal (Indistractable). Bonus points for including the practices that resonate with you in your 2024 goals!


In a nutshell: Distraction is not just about your phone, and there’s hope:

‘The problem is not our technology. The problem is our inability to deal with discomfort. (…) It’s not the pings, dings and rings, it’s the feelings. But to me, that’s incredibly empowering… Once you realise it, you can have tools ready to go. You can have arrows in your quiver ready to take out as soon as you feel that discomfort.’ – Nir Eyal

Plus, what are your own ‘deck chair projects’, and what’s really at stake?!

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