The problem with eating one donut is that from that point forward, you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want. The day is already lost, so what’s the point of eating right the rest of the day?
The problem with opening Facebook and scrolling through the stream is that one link leads to the next link, and pretty soon your quick check-in has stolen an hour of your time. There’s no reason to start anything else because you don’t have time before your conference call or meeting. You might as well hit Twitter while you’re browsing the Internet. Social is a donut.
The problem with leaving your email open is that the notification that you received a new email will take you away from what you are doing—or what you should be doing. You might intend to take a quick look to make sure it isn’t something important, but before you know it you’re responding to some relatively unimportant email. Ten minutes in, you might as well finish writing the response, right? Email is a donut.
The problem with the water cooler chatter is that there are so many things you want to share and so many things your peer group wants to share with you. There just isn’t enough time. That one comment about the sporting event or the new hot Sunday night television show turns into 20 minutes. Not enough time to start the project that needs your attention. The water cooler is a box of donuts.
The decision to eat one donut isn’t often a decision to eat one donut. It’s a much bigger decision, with a greater impact.