How Technology is Killing Your Success
I run a successful online technology company, and today I am here to tell you that technology is killing your success. Yes you read that correctly. You might think that I am crazy – I mean isn’t Stryv a technology company that is trying to help people reach their success? Well yes it is. Nevertheless, I am here to tell you a story, based on something I experienced last month which made me realise something that I used to do but have actually stopped doing, and which has made a huge difference to my productivity, what I am achieving and how I am feeling.
Little Distractions Makes the Biggest Impact
What I am speaking about when I am saying that technology is killing your success is simply what technology creates best: distractions. There is now new science that has come out speaking about different types of distractions and how specifically technological ones affect you when it comes to being successful. In order to be successful we need to take actions to achieve our goals, they won’t happen by themselves, we have to make them happen. This means you have to block time out in your planner or diary in order to work on achieving those goals.
A recent study investigated whether it was the big distractions or the little distractions that had the biggest impact on you achieving, and surprisingly what they found was that while you are doing an action, such as driving a car, building a website or just actively doing something – it’s actually the little distractions that have more power pulling your attention away from what you are doing. When you are just passively browsing through something however, like scrolling down a website or social media for instance, it’s instead the big things that pull you away. The reason why this has evolved evolutionary-wise is because if we take something simple like hunting for food, we kind of have a threshold in our mind that tells us that if we are hunting for food, which is essential to our survival, we can’t just get distracted by another big thing happening. Interestingly enough it’s almost like those little distractions doesn’t hit that threshold to make us realise that our attention has been drawn elsewhere than to the task we are trying to achieve. I’ll give you an example.
Let’s say you are driving along in the car and the phone goes off and rings and buzzes. You realise you can’t pick it up, it’s a big distraction but you know you need to be focused on driving. Imagine instead a little ping on your phone with a message popping up on your screen. Which one would you consider more distracting? You would think it’s the phone buzzing and making lots of noise, but in fact when you are actually in the action of doing something that tends to be less distracting than the little distractions, simply because it is actually over the threshold and you can kind of ignore it. The little distractions when you are in the middle of an action is what can absolutely kill you and this is what I personally have changed recently.
Technology these days is designed to keep pinging you and buzzing you. Most companies spend billions of dollars and time and energy getting you wrapped up and visiting their sites over and over. It would be great for society if we had to pay for Facebook or Youtube, if their business model was not relying on simply grabbing our attention so that they have to run ads, but instead they could just drive the business model of keeping us subscribed. Unfortunately, they don’t do that, their entire business model is built on how much attention they can get from their users and then they can sell that to advertisers.
Deleting Everything but the Essentials
So you probably get your ping notifications directly to your phone or across your sites. Now go into your phone and check how many apps actually have notifications coming through to you. Of course you can set them to be silent, but I don’t think even that is enough most of the time. You can still see them appear on your phone. So this is the strategy I recommend to you. If you want to be successful and you don’t want to be pulled away by these little distractions which I call “the death by a thousand cuts”, you just have to get rid of the source that causes the distraction. This week I went through my phone and deleted everything that wasn’t absolutely essential to me. No more Facebook App. I used to use the justification that I needed to be in touch with the Stryvers Facebook Group but it’s not true, I can do that via my laptop at the appropriate time and block that time out to do this more productively. I didn’t use to binge on Facebook or YouTube for hours but what used to happen was that when I would have lunch or got a small break to myself, I would just stand up the phone and put YouTube on and watch some entertainment shows. But you never really just watch one, do you? You’re putting your attention up against a multi-billion dollar company whose aim is to get you to stay on there for as long as possible. So I would end up watching two or three episodes, going past how long I was meant to have lunch.
One week when I was exploring Abu Dhabi and was grabbing some lunch, I pulled out my phone and went to click on a YouTube video, simply because it was habit for me to do so. But since I had deleted everything that wasn’t essential on my phone, YouTube wasn’t on there anymore. Instead, I pulled out Audible and started listening to a business book about how you grow a business, and I learnt some amazing things! What I am saying to you is this:
What apps can you go into right now and delete in order to remove these little distractions? Because the little distractions aren’t little, they are the ones pulling you away more than the big things from your goals and success. It’s time to take ownership of them. It’s not about trying to create more willpower to avoid them because when distractions come in they are immediate and it’s hard to avoid them. You just have to stop allowing them to distract you. At lunchtime today, if I had still had the YouTube app on my phone I would for sure have watched a couple of episodes on it. But because it is not there pinging me to say a new video is up, I have completely removed the temptation to let it distract me.
Regaining Control over Your Success
This is my strategy for you. Make a list, go through your phone’s notifications and delete what is not absolutely essential for you every day. Trust me, you will be so much happier when you are not getting pulled off in different directions, when you have time and space to think and are able to fill that time with stuff that is actually useful to you. Maybe you would like to start meditating, or perhaps you want to do an extra exercise throughout the week, because you have saved yourself some time?
Let’s say I watched half an hours extra worth of videos on YouTube because they were good at distracting me and keeping me on the platform. Half an hour per day turns into 3 ½ hours extra a week, then times that by 52 weeks per year – that makes almost 6 full days a year that you could do something more fulfilling, productive or useful with. It is absolutely incredible how much time that something that feels so insignificant, can actually affect you.
It’s time to take ownership, making sure you are not getting distracted and letting technology kill your success. Even if you are doing all the right things, getting your goals aligned, getting really clear on them and removing any fear and distractions, using four-quadrant approach and vertical development – if you are constantly being pulled in different directions it’s just not going to happen for you. Your attention is a limited resource that you have to focus in certain areas and the time you have to allocate that attention is equally important. So make sure you are owning how you are using those two resources!
I do hope you have found this blog useful. Comment below or get in touch with us to let us know what apps you have deleted in order to save yourself time, how much time you have gained and how you are using that time now that you are back in control of your own success!
Welcome to the achieve anything show brought to you by Stryv and today’s host, Zander, Woodford Smith.
Hi, welcome, welcome. Welcome to the Achieve Anything show. Got a great show for you today. I’m going to go on a little rant about why technology is killing your success. Straight away you might be thinking, what the hell is going on? Have you gone crazy? Don’t you run a technology company? Isn’t striver technology company trying to help people achieve their success? Yes, it is. However, I’ve got a great point to make about technology and it’s coming from my own personal experience this week. Have something that I just suddenly realized that I used to do that had stopped doing that’s now made a huge difference to my productivity, what I’m achieving and how happy I’m feeling. So we’re going to discuss that today. So what I’m talking about with how technology affects your success and it’s killing your success is through distractions. And so I’m going to dive into some of the science of that because there’s some new science that’s come out about different types of distractions and why specifically technological ones.
The way I read the research is what’s really affecting you? Been successful. Okay, so if we’re talking about being successful, you need to be taking action in order to achieve the goals. You know, things don’t just happen. You got to make them happen some way so you’ve got a block time in your planner, in your diary, whatever you’re doing in order to be able to achieve whatever it is you’re going to achieve, whether that’s like losing weight, whether that’s like building a website, a business, you know, whatever it takes in order to achieve that goal that you want to achieve. So you’re always taking actions. So this research that I’m two professors conducted a Jeff Mower and then we’ve got the name Jew Keon Song conducted was they wanted to see whether it was big distractions or little distractions that had a bigger impact on you. Okay? And what they found is that while you’re doing an action, like driving a car, building a website, or doing work on whatever it is actually taking action on something, it’s actually the little distractions that have more of an effect of pulling your attention away from what you’re doing.
And then when you’re just like browsing passively at something like scrolling through social media or watching the line, it’s the big things that pull you pull you away. And the reason this evolved like evolutionary wise is because if you’ve got like hunting for food or something like that, we kind of have a threshold in our mind of like, okay, I can’t. If I’m hunting for food, all of a sudden get distracted by his big thing. Go do something else. But it’s almost like these little distractions don’t ever hit that threshold to distract you enough. Okay? So if you think about it, you’re driving along in the car. This is just an example, but this can apply to anything driving along in the car and the phone goes off and like rings and buzzes and someone’s calling you versus you get a little ping or you just see like a tech.
The slide come down to show that you’ve got a text message which is more distracting. You’d think it was the phone buzzing and going like this and older that’s creating more noise. When you’re actually in the action of doing something that’s actually less distracting than the little ones because it’s over the threshold. You can kind of ignore it. You know what I immediately pulled, you know it’s something you should ignore so you just kind of do, but the little ones when you’re in the middle of an action or will absolutely kill you, and this is the thing that I’ve changed this week, which I’m going to give you a strategy for in a second. So if you think about your technology these days, it is designed to keep pinging you and buzzing you and companies spend billion, multibillion dollar companies spend all their time and energy. Their entire business model is wrapped up in getting you back to the site.
Okay. If you, you know, it would be great for society if we had to pay for facebook or youtube or something and their business model wasn’t reliant on our attention so that they had to drive ads because they might not have to be as good as they are pulling us back in keeping us on their websites because they could just drive the business model of keeping us subscribed, but they don’t do that. Their entire business model is how much time attention can they get of you and then they can sell that to advertisers. So they’ve got really good at sending these Little Ping notification. So now you get them. You get them on your phone, you get them in the top right hand corner of your web browser coming in, so just go in right now to your phone and have a look and see how many apps and other things have notification privileges.
Like they can send you notifications and the ones that actually ping you that show up. So you see them come in because you can set them to be more silent and quiet and other stuff, but I don’t even think that’s enough because even when you open your phone, you then see them. So this is my strategy is if you want to be successful and you don’t want pulling away by these little distractions like cup, it’s the death by a thousand cuts is you just got to get rid of the source that is causing the distraction. So this is what I did this week and I’d done this previously and then I kind of found excuses and I hadn’t even realized it had creeped back in. So then missed this may have happened with you is I just went through my phone and deleted everything. That was an absolutely essential.
So no more facebook APP because I used to use the justification that I needed to chat to and keep in touch with the strive as group, but it’s not true. I can log onto the the laptop and do that at the appropriate time and block that time in to use it most productively. Youtube, that was a huge one for me and I didn’t use as binge for hours, but what used to happen is when I would like grab lunch or something, I would just put on, stand up the phone, put youtube on and click on that. And so what I would do is I would like watch, you know, some entertainment, maybe some like John Oliver last week tonight to you haven’t seen it I think is awesome. Um, oh, I really liked watching some chest channels. It just relaxes me, but I would go there and then it never watched just one because like we said, you’re going up against you putting your attention up against a multibillion dollar company whose entire drive is to get you to stay on there.
So I would end up watching two or three and go past however long I was having lunch or something else for. So today just happened. I was out exploring Abu Dabi and then we went to grab some, some food and I got my phone out and I went to click on a youtube video because it’d been such a habit and it wasn’t there. And it was like, oh, fantastic. So what I do, I just put on audible and listen to a business upon a, um, a book about how you grow a business. I learned some amazing things, so I’m saying to you, what apps can you go in now right now and delete and remove these little strike distractions because the little distractions are little. They’re the ones pulling you away more than big things from your goals and success. Okay? So it’s time to take ownership of them.
And I would say it’s not about it, it’s not about trying to create more willpower to avoid them because one, when distractions come in that’s kind of immediate and it can’t stop you, but you’ve got other distractions where it’s kind of yourself allowing yourself to distracted. So for me at lunchtime today, if I had about the youtube app on that out of for sure watch a youtube video. So that’s not pinging me a message that our new videos up, but I would have gone straight there. Whereas it’s been completely removed. The temptation. So go through a make a list of all the things an action, get rid of, just look at your phone. First place to start is the notifications about what is allowing you, but then just go through and delete it and trust me, you’ll be way happier because you’re not getting pulled off in different directions.
You’ve got time and space to think and you fill that time with stuff that’s actually useful to you. Maybe you want to start meditating, you know, maybe you’ll have more time to go and do an extra exercise and get fit and healthy throughout the week because you’ve saved yourself time. So just think about it a second. Let’s say you, you know, with me, with Youtube, let’s say I watched half an hour extra a day because they were good at distracting me. So you know, half an hour a day turns into so much insane amount of time. So three and a half hours a week. What’s that? If you times that by 52, like three to 150, so almost six full days a year and I do that math right? Something that absolutely unbelievable the amount of time that just something that feels so insignificant, um, affects, affects you. So it’s time to take ownership and make sure that you’re not being distracted, that you’re not learning technology, kill your success because even if you’re doing all the great things, like getting your goals align, getting really clear on them, you know, removing all the fear and distractions using four quadrant approach vertically, developing.
If you constantly being pulled in different directions, it’s just not gonna happen for you. Your attention is a limited resource that you have to focus in certain areas and your attention and the time you have to allocate that attention creates your finite resources and life. So make sure your owning how you’re using those two resources. So hope this is useful. Comment below whether you like these more kind of ranty episodes because I feel like I’m doing that, but I actually enjoy doing them more. I enjoy sharing the signs and stories and stuff, but maybe I’ll do a bit of both. Who knows? Maybe you can get political. I’m around him show there’s a lot I could say, but comment below what you prefer, how you like the structure, what topics you’d want us to cover, and what apps you have deleted in order to save yourself so much time. I’ll come back in a few days and tell her how much time you’ve saved by keeping track of what time you know, what you are spending it on, and then what you now doing now that you’ve deleted does and taken back control of your time. Until next week and you know, check out, check out the blog and I look forward to seeing you on next week’s show.
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