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Why does a timebox calendar help you become indistractable? Author Nir Eyal breaks down how timebox calendars actually let you get more done and make more time for the things that matter to you. He guides you through focuses on your values in 3 life domains: you, relationships, and work.

Becoming Indistractable: How to Create a Timebox Calendar

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Transcript

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Nir Eyal:

If you find yourself intimidated by creating a timebox calendar, you’re not alone. Two thirds of Americans don’t keep any sort of calendar whatsoever. Where do we start when it comes to building our first timebox calendar?

Nir Eyal:

Well, in addition to making sure we have the right technology to help us build that calendar, we want to start with our values. Values are defined as the attributes of the person you want to become. How can we start sorting out how we can turn our values into time? We can start looking at these three life domains.

Nir Eyal:

First, starting with you, then your relationships, and finally, your work. Now, most people do this process in reverse. If they have anything on their calendar, they have work tasks and they haven’t planned time for themselves or their relationships. Now, that doesn’t work because what that means is that we’re leaving the scraps of our time to the most important people in our life.

Nir Eyal:

So, I recommend, first and foremost, you start with the you domain. Ask yourself, how can you live out your values by turning your values into time when it comes to taking care of yourself? Do you have time on your calendar for proper rest, for proper exercise or prayer, meditation, whatever it is that’s important to you? Do you have time on your calendar for those tasks?

Nir Eyal:

It’s important also to recognize that I’m not saying that everything on your calendar should just be productivity focused. No, quite the opposite. If you want time in your calendar to do something fun like watch a YouTube video, watch something on Netflix, whatever it is that’s important and fun to you, make sure you make time for it. Why? Because by making time for these things on your calendar, you are turning an otherwise distraction into an act of traction by planning for it in your day.

Nir Eyal:

The next thing we want to do is to make time for our relationships, this relationship domain. Make sure you have time for your friends as well, for regular get together, going out to the bar with your buddies or the bowling league or whatever it might be that’s important to you, make sure you have these regular occurrences. This is how we stay close to the people we love in our lives.

Nir Eyal:

And then finally, when it comes to the work domain, we find that people are much more productive if they make time for tasks such as, even reactive tasks, like checking email as opposed to checking email whenever you feel one of these internal triggers like boredom, uncertainty, stress, fatigue, and check email to relieve those sensations, in which case, many times, it leads towards distraction, instead, what you want to do is to batch process things like email in certain times of your day, just like your meetings and other important obligations.

Nir Eyal:

Make sure as well, don’t forget to make time to think in your day. So many of us require time to strategize, to focus, to plan ahead. But without time in our calendar, we don’t make time for this very important task of thinking through our challenges. So, start with the you domain, then the relationship domain, and finally, make sure you can live out your values in the work domain by blocking time on your calendar to turn your values into time.

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