Eliminate Article Writing Distractions

Use these tips to help you focus and turn more of those article ideas into actual articles!

Distractions are a part of life. Often, they can be a good thing. We need a distraction or two in an otherwise busy day. Without distractions, work would be well … just work. On the other hand, distractions that get in the way of your article writing productivity are just plain … distracting.

Sometimes you just need to write. Now. You have to focus and plow through. During those times it can be downright annoying to have the phone ringing or a colleague (or child) constantly appearing at your desk. In an effort to increase your productivity and decrease your stress level, we offer these …

8 Sure-Fire Tips for Eliminating Distractions:

  1. Declutter your Desk – Stuff is distracting. Even if it’s just sitting there. It’s still distracting you. Pictures, clippings from magazines, bobblehead dolls – all of it. Lose it. Papers on your desk? Go through them and file them. Work in an uncluttered space and you’ll find your head is clear enough to focus too.
  2. Be Comfortable – We’ve all been there. The chair is to high – or low. The room is too warm – or cold. Your sweater is too itchy. The coffee is bitter. Chill out! Get comfortable. Even if it takes a few extra minutes. If you work from home – try sitting on the couch and putting your feet up. You’ll be able to focus on your writing if you don’t have hunger pangs constantly distracting you.
  3. Be Alone – Sometimes it’s just too much to have other people around. Take your laptop or your pen and paper and go somewhere alone.
  4. Turn Off Notifications – If your Twitter notification keeps popping up – or your wife keeps IM’ing you about tonight’s activities – how do you expect to be able to focus on what’s in front of you? You can’t! Turn off the notification settings on these programs so they aren’t constantly dinging and beeping at you!
  5. Use a Text Editor – Word processing programs have lots of great features – spell checks, grammar checks, insert a picture feature – you name it. But if we start to worry about what the copy is going to look like before it ever gets written, well, then we probably won’t get anything written at all. Open up a plain text editor on your computer like notepad – or go get something like Editplus – and just type … in whatever font appears first (unless it’s Wingdings. Don’t type in Wingdings).
  6. Use a Piece of Paper. – You just can’t do it. You just can’t stop Tweeting, IM’ing and reading about Jon and Kate + 8 on the darn computer. Your mother keeps Facebooking you status reports about her tuna casserole. Fine. Turn it off. Get away from your computer or get it away from you – and go get an old-fashioned piece of paper and pen. Now … write.
  7. Wear Headphones – Put on some music and some headphones and block out the rest of the world. You’ll find that the music soon fades to the background and all you hear are the words that you’re writing in your head.
  8. Go Somewhere Else– Do you just find your home or office too distracting to write? Take a couple of hours and go to the public library or a local cafe (it doesn’t have to have Internet – remember?). It may be a little noisier, but it won’t be noise that pertains to you, so you’ll have an easier time blocking it out.

After you finish writing your two or 10 articles, reward yourself with a little distraction. Surf the Internet for stuff completely unrelated to your work. Go chat at the “watercooler” about last night’s TV shows. Or Tweet something inspiring – after all of that writing you’ll at least have something to Tweet about!

Now, stop distracting yourself with articles about eliminating distractions – and go write an article or two! When you’re done, stop back here and give us your suggestions for eliminating distractions.


Will Atkinson writes:

Thanks for reminding me that I’ve been a writer before I had a laptop and the Internet, and thanks for the smile when I read the wingdings advice.

Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 10:38 AM


Meggin McIntosh writes:

These are all great ones. I’m a big fan of using a timer to help me stay focused (meanwhile eliminating all these others). I use http://www.online-stopwatch.com and it helps. Seems silly but it works for me. And that’s what we all need…what works!!

Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 11:24 AM


Darlene Norris writes:

Good post. I had to quit using Tweetdeck, since I can waste all day with that one! Now I just twitter once in a while and try to stay off it.

The tv’s usually on when I write, but it’s background noise. Once I get into it, I don’t even notice what’s happening on the tube. My husband’s always wondering why I don’t remember watching a certain show before! :D

I use NoteTab Light, and I’ve always liked it. It’s a free download. I don’t use many of the features on it, but it’s a great text editor. I always keep copies of my articles, and I try to remember to back them up on a regular basis. Never know when you want to rewrite something!

Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 12:21 PM



Distraction delicious!

Anarchy begets creativity!


Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 2:13 PM


laurie writes:

I have enjoyed this blog post, you are so true on this
I am going to take this advice because it does happen to me when I write or do my work Once again thank you much

Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 9:45 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

This is pretty much good advice here today.

Comment provided September 2, 2009 at 10:16 PM


Greg writes:

Good advice. I was already writing a similar agenda for myself to follow. Kind of a reminder to stay focused.

Comment provided September 4, 2009 at 8:53 AM


Prince writes:

A good one!

Comment provided September 8, 2009 at 9:16 AM


Geoff writes:

Some nice tips, thanks. I must admit the Internet is one of the most distracting things on the planet for me. I look at something I want information on, then I go on from there on to something else then…see, I`m doing it again.

Comment provided September 11, 2009 at 9:28 AM


Perig writes:

Great post. I am not a writter by nature and by reading this article I have found that there are many things that can contribute to my problems while writing. I will implement many of those tonight!


Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 5:39 PM


Dave Robus writes:

I’ve just got round to writing again and you’ve just reminded me how to avoid all the distractions that can get in the way. Thanks a million now I should be able to start producing loads of article about old books in the coming months.


Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 6:16 PM


Teresa writes:

I just started using Q10 from baara.com. It blanks out background distractions, is just a basic word processor, and keeps track of words, pages and characters on the bottom of the screen . It even makes typewriter noises, which I groove on. I don’t use it all the time, but when I gotta get a gig done, its great for helping me just focus and bang it out.

Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 7:06 PM


Jared P Little writes:

Wow what a good list. I really like the text pad or notepad suggestion I use that often but might give it a try full time. I can see how spell check and format might distract you.

Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 7:30 PM


Lalitha Brahma writes:

Great tips. I love writing on paper and my thoughts seem to flow that way.

Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 8:17 PM


Paul Tooze writes:

Lovely article and great site. I am so easily distracted and tend to go off on Tangents. De-cluttering is a top idea. Just looked at my desk, no paper but 10 things that would catch my eye, including TNMT toy’s from this mornings play. Now, I am going to deffinately write my article about going GREEN, just as soom as I download photos from the camera and ……..

Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 8:36 PM


Graham Ross writes:

Here are a few more tips which may help your productivity.


Comment provided September 15, 2009 at 11:56 PM


John Jurkin writes:

Great ideas learned some new ones and well as validated some favorites!
Music with pencil and paper have always been my favorite.

Comment provided September 17, 2009 at 12:26 PM



Nice share and great article

Comment provided September 18, 2009 at 10:11 AM


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