It’s so difficult to focus these days…
Distractions everywhere. Social media and mobile phones make us believe we have to be on call every minute of every day. We all run like crazy, but we still feel that every time someone calls us or sends a message, we have to answer immediately. And they expect us to do so. This is so obvious since if we don’t, they’ll ask us about it when we eventually get in touch.
And saying we just didn’t want to talk to anyone is not an acceptable answer, unfortunately.
But I’m getting a little off-topic here. (I may blog about that another day, though. 😛 ). Today, I wanted to tell you how to avoid distractions while writing. Distractions are annoying but they do exist, so we have to find a way around them to be productive. It’s not that difficult, though, no matter what it looks or feels like. And there are several ways you can use to limit their influence on you. Try them out and let me know which one is the best!
1. Turn It Off
Probably the biggest distraction is your phone. So when it’s time to write, make sure you put it on silent mode, at least.
Now, if it’s absolutely not possible to do this – I do understand it’s difficult if you’re a parent – at least turn off the Wi-Fi. No one will contact you on Viber for something important.
2. Make A Habit Out Of It
Habits have a secret power. When you manage to do something enough times to make a habit out of it, then the process gets ridiculously easy. Because you’ll do it on autopilot.
Okay, I’m not saying that writing will become as easy as washing your dishes, but you’ll get into focus mode way easier than before.
So choose a specific place you want to write and a specific time of the day. For example, I work the best in the late morning/afternoon. So I use my morning to sleep and my evening to do other things I have/want to do.
To do: Start a routine and write every day at the same time and in the same place. After a while, you’ll get used to it and you’ll crave to write as this time approaches every day.
Getting Away From Home
When I’m talking about a specific place, I don’t mean you have to choose a specific place in your house. If you can work well at home, that’s great! But I think that for most people – including me – it’s more efficient when they write somewhere else. For example, my favourite place to write – I’m here, right now, by the way – is a little cafe near the sea. I’ve written a lot of posts here and it seems I’ll write even more because I get inspired when I am here.
To do: Try different places until you find what works better for you. Your house, a library, a cafe, etc. And don’t be afraid to make changes once in a while. The results may surprise you…
3. Use White Noise
If you decide to write in a place where people talk a lot – a cafe, for example – you need something to help you focus. Also, this is useful even in your house since there are always annoying noises around. For example, these days someone renovated his apartment – which is a floor below mine and all I hear all morning is drills working. Arrrghhhh!
A good platform to help you with this is Brain.fm. You can use it to listen to music that helps you focus more easily. Try it a few times to see how it works for you. (It took me a couple of times for me to see a difference, but now it’s a matter of seconds for me to get focused.)
4. Do Your Research
Start with researching the article you want to write and then make the outline. This way, you have the skeleton of the article and it’s easier to write.
If you’ve already written the headlines, you can write 7 300-word articles instead of one 2000-word article. For most people, that’s easier.
5. Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is an incredibly useful technique you can use to increase your productivity. It seems very simple, so you may not understand why this can help you, but if you try it, you’ll see it just WORKS.
The main principle is that you work for short amounts of time and that makes you way more focused than if you were lazily trying to do your tasks throughout a whole day.
6. Clean Your Workspace
This one kind of depends on how you work. A lot of people don’t like working in a cluttered workspace; others don’t have a problem with it.
I’m actually in-between. I don’t really have a problem working in an unorganised place, but if I’m bored with my work, I’ll find this as an excuse to clean instead of work. That’s one of the reasons I prefer working out of my house.
7. Write Healthily
Prefer to write on a desk or even on a table – if you don’t have a desk.
If you work on a couch all day:
- First, it’s not good for your body.
- Second, your back will start to hurt and you’ll need to change your sitting position every 10 minutes.
- Third, it’s easier to get sleepy.
8. Use Distraction-Free Editors
If you need to write on a laptop, it’s so easy to get distracted. You’re just a click away from social media and a few clicks away from your favourite TV show.
The best you can do is use a distraction-free editor. My favourite one is Calmly Writer. It’s an online editor that helps you focus only on the text you’re writing at the moment. It’s way easier to write without distractions with it. Just make sure to save everything on a file before you close it.
So… which one works the best for you? Do you have any extra tips that help you write more efficiently? Let me know! I LOVE learning new productivity tips.
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer! Any suggestions are always welcome, so tell me about topics you’d like me to write.
And if you liked this, check out more productivity tips for your blog.
See you next time!