Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #86: Nir Eyal – Planning to Fight Distractions

March 21, 2022


I really enjoyed Nir Eyal’s book Indistractable and my interest was piqued even further by his recent interview on Marriage Kids & Money, where I heard him say something akin to the key to preventing distracted autopilot living is PLANNING.

(Maybe that’s not exactly what he said, but it’s what I heard, and at that moment I decided to see if he would come on BLP!).

Anyway, it was really fun to chat with Nir about the nature of distractions and how to avoid them. I tried to get him to go into more detail about his own planning processes (this is BLP after all!) and I’m not sure I was too successful, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless.


More Q&A

Inamio review!

Things to consider in beginning a new quarter/quintile

Summer planning (yes it’s already time)

And more 🙂

Please send me your email or audio questions + topic suggestions! And if you haven’t, I’d love it if you left a review wherever you listen to podcasts (here’s the link to BLP on apple’s podcast site if that helps!). Speakpipe’s audio link is below:


  • Reply Allison Cunningham March 21, 2022 at 11:46 am

    I Made/ am making the switch from my Wonderland 222 weekly to the Inamio over the weekend. I love the muted color and “real” paper. I also realize how I don’t really use the formal routine trackers. I guess they were nice to haves that never got used. There is also something nice about the structured feel of the book. And for a bonus, pen holder!!! To the person that sent you this planner, thank you!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 21, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      I sent it to myself 😝

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 21, 2022 at 1:07 pm

      But the idea was from a listener – will go back and give her credit!

  • Reply Elisabeth March 21, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    Your guest list always wows, me Sarah. I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for what you’ve built here, so I’m awarding you a whole row of gold stars for what you accomplish in this space (in the margin of a VERY busy life). Maybe gold stars aren’t your thing (they are mine and it’s a running joke with family and friends) – but if they are…please know you have oodles of them for the great content you produce in this space.

  • Reply Joy March 21, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Such an interesting interview. I learned so much and plan to read his book. Thank you!

  • Reply Jessica March 22, 2022 at 12:25 am

    That was a great interview! I’ve heard other interviews about Indistractable and you did a great job of asking interesting questions that did go more into planning and not entirely focus on the talking points, while still getting a good summary of the points of the book. Also seconding the comment about the crazy-cool guests that you get on.

    CGP Grey is a great YouTuber who created a planner based on how he plans. I would be interested in your review of it and/or your interview of him. Other people that could be interesting guests if they’re up for it are James Clear and the blogger that goes by Cloud (I feel like she’s talked before about thinking of writing a book about her project management methods- I would be so interested in hearing more of her planning).

  • Reply Brooke April 4, 2022 at 10:58 am

    I really enjoyed your interview with Nir, so much so that I put Indistractable on hold at the library. Then I was reading Stolen Focus by Johann Hari this past weekend, and he pointed out an interesting dichotomy in Nir’s work. Nir is famous in the tech circles for using psychology to create addicting and habit forming apps (his first book, Hooked, is on this very topic), and then writes a book on how it is your individual responsibility to control their use of those apps. So he first creates addicting technology, and then blames you when you can’t avoid it? I’m seriously reconsidering reading Indistractable now with that knowledge. Anyone know if he addressed this in the book?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 4, 2022 at 12:19 pm

      Ooh interesting. I do think by writing Hooked wasn’t he attempting to expose the somewhat icky practices companies use (rather than write a how to for other companies)? Though I haven’t read it so cannot speak to this personally!

      • Reply Brooke April 4, 2022 at 12:51 pm

        The title is Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products. The book description on Goodreads (provided by the publisher) backs it up as a how-to, saying amoung other things “Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products.” I have also not read the book but I’ll take the publisher at their word there. That does not make Indistractable a bad book necessarily, but it is an interesting pivot worth noting.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 4, 2022 at 12:53 pm

          Oh wow. Fascinating!

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