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701: How to Be Less Distracted at Work — and in Life


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Podcast: HBR IdeaCast
Episode: 701: How to Be Less Distracted at Work — and in Life
Episode pub date: 2019-09-24


Nir Eyal, an expert on technology and psychology, says that we all need to learn to be less distracted into activities that don’t help us achieve what we want to each day. Unwelcome behaviors can range from social media scrolling and bingeing on YouTube videos to chatting with colleagues or answering non-urgent emails. To break these habits, we start by recognizing that it is often our own emotions, not our devices, that distract us. We must then recognize the difference between traction (values-aligned work or leisure) and distraction (not) and make time in our schedules for more of the former. Eyal also has tips for protecting ourselves from the external distractions that do come at us and tools to force us to focus on bigger-picture goals. He is the author of the book “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.”

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686: Why You Need Innovation Capital — And How to Get It


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Podcast: HBR IdeaCast
Episode: 686: Why You Need Innovation Capital — And How to Get It
Episode pub date: 2019-06-11


Nathan Furr, assistant professor of strategy at INSEAD, researches what makes great innovative leaders, and he reveals how they develop and spend “innovation capital.” Like social or political capital, it’s a power to motivate employees, win the buy-in of stakeholders, and sell breakthrough products. Furr argues that innovation capital is something everyone can develop and grow by using something he calls impression amplifiers. Furr is the coauthor of the book “Innovation Capital: How to Compete–and Win–Like the World’s Most Innovative Leaders.”

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631: Ask Better Questions


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Podcast: HBR IdeaCast
Episode: 631: Ask Better Questions
Episode pub date: 2018-05-29


Leslie K. John and Alison Wood Brooks, professors at Harvard Business School, say people in business can be more successful by asking more and better questions. They talk through what makes for a great question, whether you’re looking to get information or get someone to like you. They’re the coauthors of the article, “The Surprising Power of Questions,” in the May–June 2018 issue of Harvard Business Review.

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