Too Distracted To Write? Try This!

By on March 13, 2018
Too Distracted To Write? Try This! - Writer's

Even the most dedicated and productive writers find that they get distracted from time to time. By understanding what your triggers are and finding ways to refocus and bring your attention back to what is in front of you, you can minimise time spent getting distracted and instead focus on what’s important - your writing!

So what are some good techniques to try when you are feeling too distracted to write? Let’s take a look.

Have a strict schedule

Having a good writing schedule is paramount for any writer. By having a clear schedule, one that you can refer to, and one that is manageable for you, you will know exactly how much you need to get done and by when - this means you have goals outlined and a clear focus from the outset.

Turn off your notifications

E-mail and message pop-ups are naturally going to divert your attention away from what you are doing. Don’t log in to your email, turn off notifications, leave your phone in another room. You could even turn off your wifi so you can’t look at the internet (unless you need it for your work) in order to keep distractions to an absolute minimum.

Take breaks

If you don’t give yourself regular breaks, you’ll find that you end up becoming more and more distracted and less productive as the day goes on. Taking frequent breaks, ones where you allow yourself to indulge in all your favourite distractions means that you can return to your work refreshed and ready to concentrate once more.

Notice what distracts you

We all have those things we know will keep us distracted, whether it’s that pile of ironing or continually checking social media sites. Make sure you are aware of your distractions and figure out how to make them less pressing. You could make sure you do the ironing the night before, for example, and allow yourself 15 minutes every couple of hours to go on social media if that’s your weakness.

Don’t let others get in your way

Make sure you let those around you know that you need to focus and concentrate and you’d appreciate it if they didn’t distract you for as long as you are working. Being clear and vocal about the fact that you want to spend time concentrating on your writing can be really helpful.

Break tasks down

Make sure you make your work more manageable by breaking goals down into smaller tasks. Sometimes when we look a the overall picture, things can feel overwhelming, we don’t know where to start and then naturally get distracted by something else. Having smaller more achievable goals will help us to stay focused and keep progressing too.

Don’t beat yourself up

At the end of the day, you aren’t always going to be able to focus and be productive. We all have days where we find things more difficult, and that’s OK. Sometimes you might just need to give in and indulge in your distractions, don’t beat yourself up about it if you do - you'll just end up wasting more time. Simply start your next writing session with renewed determination, and soon you’ll get yourself back on track.

These top tips on how to beat distraction should keep you focused on the task at hand. So next time you are finding it difficult to concentrate, try these and see if you can get back on track.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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