Top Tips To Help You Focus

By on September 17, 2018

One thing all writers need to be able to have is more focus. Whether you are working on the next chapter for your kickass novel or pulling together information to write a hard-hitting article, it is imperative that you can concentrate on the task at hand.

This is, however, easier said than done.

Many writers discover that not only finding time to sit down and write but doing so without distractions or other things getting in the way is their number one productivity problem.

So how do we teach ourselves to be better at focusing? Here are some useful tips:

Ditch the gadgets

So you might need your computer to write, and you might need the internet to research, but that is it. If possible, try to gather all your research together before you begin so you can have blocks of time where all you need to have open on your computer is the document you are writing, and that’s it. Switch off any notifications, close your email and, perhaps most importantly, turn off your mobile phone.

Take some proper time out

Scoffing down some lunch at our desks isn’t the way to keep is focused and productive. You may feel as though it’s better to try and keep working, but without regular breaks, in different settings, we soon tire, and that’s when our focus begins to wander. Go outside, take a walk, look at some beautiful things, get some fresh air. Do whatever you can to switch off for a while, and you’ll return to work feeling refreshed and ready to concentrate on the task at hand.

Make boring tasks interesting

It can be challenging to remain focused if we find what we are doing boring or repetitive. In writing, there may be parts that you don’t love, such as editing for example. The key to staying focused is to find ways to make these tasks more stimulating. This may be as simple as changing your setting (do all your editing in a great cafe for example), listening to some upbeat music or only doing short bursts before switching to something else.

Motivate yourself

Another key to keeping focused is to stay upbeat and positive. Keep telling yourself that you can complete what you need to do. Imagine how you’ll feel at the end of a productive day, and you can even come up with a rewards system to bribe yourself into working harder and achieving your goals.

Break things down

Work out what you need to do and when. Stay organized. Create a to-do list each day and tackle the harder, more time-consuming tasks first - otherwise, you’ll avoid them until you ‘conveniently’ run out of time.

Be wary of multitasking

While multitasking can be an effective way of making progress on several different aspects of your writing, if you try to juggle too much you’ll increase the likelihood of getting muddled, and feeling as though you have made no progress and are doing nothing well.

Ask yourself helpful questions

Sometimes, to keep focus, we need to remind ourselves why a task is necessary. Before you start working, ask yourself the following:

What do I need to do?
Why do I need to do this?
What do I hope to gain from doing this?
What do I need to do to complete this?
When will I finish this?

Doing so will help to summarise why the task is important and exactly what you need to do to complete it successfully.

These tips can help writers stay positive, productive and happy. So next time you feel your attention wandering use these techniques to remain focused on the task at hand, and you’ll feel so much better for it.

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

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

About Ty Cohen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *