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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.