Distractions have a bad name in the world of business, communications and writing.
Don't get distracted, you're told from schooldays onwards. Focus on your work.
Fair enough, and true enough, most of the time, anyway.
But here's a word in praise of distractions, because they can really help your productivity.
I was doing some communications work this week with a senior bod, and we decided to do it at her house.
Because you know what it's like if you try to get some peace in the office - continual knocks at the door, can I just have a moment, phone ringing, etc etc.
We were working through some media ideas, accompanied by the gorgeous Monty, her puppy, reclining above.
We would occasionally stop to give him a chew, or a little love, as you have to with puppies.
And it made us both smile, and lifted our energy, and spirits, before we returned to our planning, feeling refreshed and ready to go again.
It's just the same if I'm writing, or putting together some teaching.
If I sit at a desk, slogging at it, hour after hour, my concentraction, creativity and energy ebbs away until I'm not achieving much at all.
Get myself out for a while, even just a few minutes, enjoy some air, sunshine, and sky...
And it's remarkable how quickly I can recharge.
Working smart is so often better than just working hard.
And a good distraction has a big part to play in that.