If you’ve managed to avoid the Pokémon GO frenzy that’s been spreading across the globe like wildfire, then congratulations! Also, how?!
The app has grabbed millions of us by the most nostalgic strings of our hearts, giving us another shot at the childhood dream of catching ‘em all. We’ve been wondering across our home towns, laughing at the silly landmarks that have somehow managed to qualify as Pokéstops, and complaining that you can’t get away with driving to hatch that impossible 10km egg.
Of course, this might all mean nothing to you. In that case, you should either be commended on your restraint, or generally encouraged to stay far, far away. Why? The general consensus seems to be that Pokémon GO is the latest in a long string of culprits that are killing workplace productivity.
So, you’ve already climbed aboard the Pokémon GO train. Now what?
Believe it or not, you can be both a successful Pokémon trainer and a Productivity Ninja. As with anything else, it’s all about finding a healthy work/life balance that proves effective in your life.
It boils down to this: your boss isn’t going to be happy if they spot you wasting your time and their time (not to mention half a dozen Pokéballs) on a nearby Drowzee. You need to find a way to keep your attention focused on work whilst in the office, without thinking wishfully about how your time might be spent elsewhere.
One way to do this might be to double up some of your other day-to-day tasks with Pokémon GO. We’re usually advocates for monotasking – especially when it comes to the workplace! – but if you can release your itch to catch wild Pokémon in other parts of your day, you’ll be less likely to let it creep into your work time.
You could try expanding your Pokédex whilst walking the dog, or on your commutes to and from work. If you want to take it up a level, you could even take some time to plan a route between your work and home that passes the most number of Pokéstops! If you’re taking frequent Poké-walks, you could even listen to a podcast or audiobook on the go.
Lovers of the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of hard, focused work, followed by short 5 minutes breaks) might want to try using their break time for checking the game. The point of this is to keep the distraction within the control of a time barrier, so remember to use a timer!
Also, don’t forget that the game doesn’t need to be played solo. If your colleagues are just as hooked as you are, feel free to use Pokémon GO as a fun way for you to get together in your breaks. A happy team is a productive team.
There are always going to be a million and one things that will fight for attention every day. Your attention is like currency – it’s limited, but you get to decide how to spend it. If you make something a priority, there will be time for it. If you want to read fifty books this year, or learn a new language, or spend an hour every day on the latest craze in popular culture, it doesn’t have to impact negatively on your professional life. You just have to make choices about what you are willing and not willing to do with the time you have.
Go forth, be productive, and we wish you the best of luck in your pursuit to catch ‘em all.
By Steph Rathbone