Monday, April 29, 2013

Entertaining the Elephant

+Stuart Torr has been trying to sell me on the idea of Audio Books for some time (e.g. Audible.com). There was no particular reason I resisted beyond inertia. I am now convinced they are the way forward.

Extending Haidt's Elephant metaphor a little further, using Audiobooks gives the elephant something to do. Reading (or working at a computer) only entertains the rider (our rational side) while telling our elephant (emotional and active side) to be still. The elephant gets bored.

I am not a believer in multi-tasking but perhaps duo-tasking is in fact what we should normally be doing. To be most effective, perhaps we need to give the rider and the elephant something to do.

With audio-books I find I am able to read books I have 'wanted' to read but have been putting off. The rider looks at the book longingly but the elephant says (trumpets), 'Not a chance you nerd'. By going for a walk, going to gym, cleaning the house etc. you give the elephant something to do and the rider is more free (note - using audio books while cleaning the house is still just an untested theory).

This could be extended beyond books. I read somewhere else of taking 'walking meetings'. Next time you have to meet someone - go for a walk. It will keep your elephant entertained.
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