Any work-at-home professional writer can tell you that the common denominator in the lack of productivity is the multitude of distractions we face every day! Someone else always needs your time and attention, including the digital distractions we face every day…emails, social media, cell phones and such. It’s no wonder we struggle to wiggle in time for our daily writing activities.
What to do?
It’s pretty simple, really. Create your personal distraction free zone! The hard part is enforcing the law of your distraction free zone. And only YOU can do that.
Many of us get our writing done at the kitchen table or outside if we can steal a few minutes here and there. We take advantage of any time when the house is quiet or we have some time to ourselves, but then it seems there is always so much more that needs to be attended to around the house. If that is your M.O. then it’s time to seriously consider an office area—just for you. I’m really not talking about moving on up to a DE-luxe office suite in a high rise professional park. Your space can be a nook, or a cranny. How about a dedicated office in a room in your home. You use what you have, right?
Lately I’ve seen some really clever tricks where even a closet was turned into a unique working space with everything you need all contained in one small area. Regardless of where you land, make sure it has the capability to close the door or leave the area so it is not staring at you suspiciously when you aren’t working. We all need to be able to leave our work behind and put our busy minds at rest.
We can’t eliminate all of our distractions, but do take the stronghold against those you can. Start by quieting your notifications for email, Facebook, games, etc. There are programs and tools you can get that actually block you from accessing certain internet sites for specified periods of time so you can dedicate the time to your tasks at hand. Personally, I don’t like them. I don’t want to block myself; instead I try to simply be more disciplined and self-responsible. But everyone is different. If you can’t resist it, there are tools you can download such as Concentrate for Chrome and Leech Block for Firefox that allow you to set timers that deny access to those online distractions.
It is true that you need to manage your social media as you build your platform. I’m merely suggesting that you actually schedule those activities into you day and adhere to that schedule. Don’t let them rob you of your day.
Simply make a deal with yourself to get your writing done, as distraction-free as possible. Your editors, coaches, and publishers will thank you.