Maintaining focus as a writer can be super tough in this media savvy world. When distractions are all around you, what should you do to stay focused on your writing ?
My 10 top tips:
- Switch off your mobile phone – not put it on silent or vibrate!
- Refrain from checking every email in your inbox – allocate an amount of time to do this but scan the ‘from’ and ‘subject’ fields and only answer or read the urgent and highly important ones.
- Give up watching TV or minimise the amount of time you spend watching it each day or week. If it is not helping your writing in any way, it is eating into your writing time!
- Have a calendar and diary to schedule all your ‘to-do’ stuff with goals, for the days, weeks and months ahead.
- Have deadlines in your calendar and/or in your diary for parts of the book you want to complete. Write down what these parts are, the outcome you want to achieve and the time allocated to completing each.
- Remember to have short breaks from writing, for example 10-15 minutes, as soon as you notice a drop in your focus and attention span.
- Make sure you have mineral water readily available to drink at all times – and make sure you consume it!
- Make sure you eat when your tummy is giving you pain, yes, I know you can end up working through lunch when you are in the flow of things, so have foods available to eat that are quick and easy to cook (like microwavable food such as rice or jacket potatoes with cold fillings), or go for a healthier option such as a ready-made salad bowl.
- Schedule time into your calender and diary to talk to your friends, family and loved ones, via phone, Facebook Messenger, Skype or other. That way you are not getting stressed that you cannot meet your own writing deadlines and that your flow may be interrupted.
- Once you have got to the editing stage and it beomes a bit monotonous, working out over and over again if that comma is in the right place, make sure you give yourself a treat when you complete a chunk of editing. If you give yourself a treat as a reward, your brain will associate the sometimes painful editing process as a gain (getting something back), rather than a loss of the time it takes to do it.
I hope you have found this a helpful post. Let me know what other top tips you have, and who knows, you may just see your own tip added to a future book of mine! Be sure to leave a link to your blog or site if it were to be featured and you want it crediting to you.