At the last brainstorming session, we bitches thought ‘Managing Distractions’ would be a great topic for the month of April. It was just the other day, amidst a few months of an uninterrupted, gale force work-icane, that my handy phone calendar dinged at me…
“Do wordbitches post,” it read. I promptly moved that ‘to-do’ item to the next day, a habit I have fallen into of late.
I’m sure those of us working two jobs, one to pay the bills and the other to pay the soul, will understand the pleasure of deferring action. After all, why do today when you can put it off until tomorrow.
The following day, my calendar dinged again… “Do wordbitches post” it nagged. And here I am, feeling fully qualified to expound on methods to manage distractions due to my ineptitude of doing just that.
- Do not put off today what you can do tomorrow. Do it now. Do it even if you don’t want to because, if you push it until tomorrow, you’ll start a pile up of things-to-do. A thousand word count day today, if pushed to tomorrow, becomes a two thousand-word count day.
- Use the tools. In my business and writing life, when things are flying fast and furious, I use my contact manager and calendar on my Apple devices to their fullest. In the busy times, I call these my brain because unloading tons of tasks and itemizing duties frees up brain space for other things. It also gives you defined goals. It feels good to cross things off the to-do list.
- Set the word goals and stick to them at all costs. In a previous post on wordbitches, the use of Scrivener was discussed. This is not just a great program for organizing plot, character and story, it has a motivating schedule (your daily word count goals) that can drive you to complete an otherwise floundering piece of writing.
- Turn off the phone and social media apps. Better yet, take social media off of mobile devices entirely. It’s much too tempting to take a five-minute break to catch up on the latest Facebook posts and Tweets. Half an hour later, you’re up to date on who is complaining about people’s driving habits and who got the wrong Starbucks order, sure, but you’re out a solid block of writing time and your flow is completely disrupted.
- Block separate times for your writing and your distractions. Prioritize your time into blocks. A half hour of solid writing is more valuable than an hour of writing time that’s interrupted by the phone and checking your favorite writing-themed websites.
And on that note… isn’t there something you should be doing?