At a recent internal meeting, we were discussing productivity and the various levels of distractions that one has these days. Did you know that there is a hierarchy of digital distractions (see image below). No wonder, in todays connected, and agile world, for some people why it is so difficult to get any actual work done (that is not to suggest that they are not busy of course).
At this meeting, analogy of the distraction was coined as the “monkey” – the monkey that each of us has on our shoulder and the constant attention it demands – I.e. the distraction. And we all know we cannot control this monkey and bottle it up. The idea isn’t to try and bottle it up, which will rattle it more trying to get out and demand more attention – but rather let it out in a controlled manner for some time – similar to how one would take a dog out for a walk (of course different outcomes) .
So instead of avoiding distractions, which might be very difficult for some folks, the idea is to let it out in a controlled manner – so the monkey is entertained and happy. This will help concentrate on the rest of the times and enable one to be more productive. And the science behind is how our brains gets the same effect as with drugs, and the ‘pleasure’ effects – it is both fascinating and scary.