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Secrets To Effectively Manage Your Time - Business Insider

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1. The world is working against you.

This isn't a conspiracy theory and a tinfoil hat isn't required, but we are spending more of our time in environments that have their own agendas.

Billboards and TV ads want you to buy. The links on the internet encourage you to click. Notifications on your smartphone beckon you.

Our default is now a constant, aggressive chain of siren songs from our environment.

Here's Dan: "The world is not acting in our long-term benefit. Imagine you walk down the street and every store is trying to get your money right now; in your pocket you have a phone and every app wants to control your attention right now. Most of the entities in our lives really want us to make mistakes in their favor. So the world is making things very, very difficult."

If you followed every directive from your surroundings these days you'd quickly be broke, obese, and constantly distracted.

It's like we're surrounded by scheming thieves: thieves of our time, thieves of our attention, thieves of our productivity.

And how do pickpockets steal your stuff? Distraction.

Here's Dan: "I have a friend who's a magician and he pickpockets people in his show. He said when he started he used to tap people to distract them. He'd tap them, they would lose their concentration and he could take their watch. He said now he realizes that merely asking people questions is enough to make them lose the ability to focus."

(Short on time? Skip to 5:35 to see how easily distracted you can be.)

Not having a plan, goals or a system in today's world is dangerous because the default isn't neutral.6

For more on what the most productive people do to reduce distractions, click here.

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