Friday, 19 August 2016

How to Minimize Distractions and Get More Writing Done

Typewriter
Every time you lose your train of thought, it takes time before you can regain your focus and carry on. The more derailments you have, the longer it’ll take to get anywhere. A recent study from King’s College, London showed that constant interruption lowers one’s IQ by an average of about 10 points, and interferes with productivity. If you want to get that novel of yours written or finish writing assignments on time, minimizing other demands on your attention is a good idea.

Here are a few ways to avoid losing focus to distractions:

1) Go Incommunicado:
A ringing phone or e-mail and message alerts can distract you even if you don’t respond, so close your e-mail program, shut down instant messaging, and turn off your phone. The world can get by just fine without you for a couple of hours. If you can’t resist the urge to peek at your e-mail, try unplugging the modem, or even using a computer without internet access when you’re writing.

2) Dedicate Specific Chunks Of Time To Writing: Let the people you live with know that this time is writing time, and see if you can get them to act as though you are not at home. A spouse who wants to complain about his or her day at the office and discuss the grocery list can be at least as distracting as text messages and phone calls. Of course you need to have those conversations, but you probably don’t need to have them right when your heroes are in the middle of trying to hotwire a space ship.

3) Turn Off The Chatter: Some people can write with music, radio, and television in the background. Some highly successful novelists are among them. The rest of us, though, usually end up listening to a television program or singing along with a song in our heads, instead of concentrating on our own words. Which type are you? Be honest with yourself. If chatter distracts you but silence bugs you, try listening to instrumental music. If you really want human voices for company, try listening to music in a language that you don’t understand.

4) Block Off Visual Distractions: Sounds aren’t the only things that can take your attention away from the work at hand. A flickering television screen, the scene outside your window or even curtains fluttering in the breeze can tug at your brain. Turn the TV all the way off, and close the blinds if you find yourself wondering what’s going on across the street.