Seth Godin:

More and more, we’re finding it easy to get engaged with activities that feel like work, but aren’t. I can appear just as engaged (and probably enjoy some of the same endorphins) when I beat someone in Words With Friends as I do when I’m writing the chapter for a new book. The challenge is that the pleasure from winning a game fades fast, but writing a book contributes to readers (and to me) for years to come.

One reason for this confusion is that we’re often using precisely the same device to do our work as we are to distract ourselves from our work. The distractions come along with the productivity. The boss (and even our honest selves) would probably freak out if we took hours of ping pong breaks while at the office, but spending the same amount of time engaged with others online is easier to rationalize.

Seth proposes that we separate work devices from play devices.

It’s the exact same thing that Rick Stawarz wrote about a few days ago. He’s turning his iPad, iPhone, and MacBook into app-dedicated gadgets: iPhone for staying connected to work on the go, MacBook for doing work, iPad for play and leisure.

On my computer I do work email, personal email, website email; book-keeping and taxes and business-related tasks; reading; writing; project planning; task management; time management; research; and more…

It’s all done right here in one spot on one machine. It is certainly a distraction-prone environment — but it’s not just the bad distractions (like games or YouTube). It is so very easy to switch from work email to personal email back to work email all in the same sitting. But I don’t know if that is necessarily the best use of time.

I wrote about this somewhat last September when I wrote about how Inbox Zero is all about the outbox. I am always wanting to grow and excel in time management and living with focus, and this is something I’d very much like to write about and explore even more in the future.

When we Work and Play from the Same Device