It’s Screen-Free Week! Also known as Digital-Detox Week and TV-Turnoff Week, this is an annual international event to encourage everyone to turn off their screens and “turn on life.”
Consider how much of your days are sucked up by constantly checking your text messages, voice mail, email, social media notifications, news feeds, so on and so forth – all because you just can’t bear to miss something. Then add that to the amount of time you watch television.
12 Hours (Maybe More) of Media per DAY
Last year, it was reported the time spent per day with major media by adults averaged 12 hours and 5 minutes every day.* Granted, much of that may have been spent connected to devices while at work, but that only accounts for an average of 8.4 hours a day on a typical 5-day workweek. This means we spend the majority of our waking moments plugged in for professional and personal gain.
For all of those non-work related media devices this week: Turn. It. Off.
We promise: it can wait. Look up from your televisions, your smartphones, your tablets, and other devices in order to experience your environment and the relationships around you. Use this information to recharge your writing!
Pick 1, 2, or 3 Distractions and Pledge to Unplug
Again, it’s impossible for those of us whose businesses rely on online communications to completely unplug, but you can experiment by picking a few areas to turn off. For example, if Twitter or Facebook are your time vampires, then stop checking these for one week by not checking on your computers and even consider removing the apps altogether from your devices (you can always download them again once you’ve become more disciplined). Rather than binging for 2 hours on television, hang a note over it to remind yourself, “You should be writing!”
5 Tips to Distraction-Free Writing Sessions
Are your writing sessions plagued by media distractions – either by incoming notifications or the compulsory need to be up-to-date in real time? Here are a few tips to stay strong and get some powerful writing sessions in.
- Don’t put your phone on your desk. In fact, turn it off and “forget” it in the other room. For tablets you use to write, go into the device’s settings and turn off all notifications.
- Simplify. Is all of that gadgetry necessary? Is it for show? Just because you have the latest tech to write at hip coffee shops does not mean you’re a writer. The proof you’re a writer is the writing. If you can save yourself time by using a gadget, then do so. Otherwise, a pen and paper in an area conducive to writing productivity is your best bet to getting the job done.
- Stick to a writing schedule. Rather than writing whenever you can squeeze in an hour or two during your busy workday, plan ahead. Creating writing appointments with yourself and stick to them.
- Plan ahead. Break your writing session into 6 stages: Brainstorm, outline, write, revise, proofread, and submit your ideas. This will help prevent writer’s block as well as help you structure your writing sessions to write faster and more effectively.
- Don’t cave in. Practice self-discipline. If all of your bills and important information is online, then by all means plan 15 minutes every day to get online. Don’t stray by interrupting your writing session to do it. Stick to your pre-planned schedule and then get in and get out without stopping by and dawdling on a social media site.
Turn it off! You’ll find all of those hours that were drained by television and other media snap back into focus and you’ll make great strides using it to write. Rather than fill those quiet moments with your smartphone, tablet, or televisions, allow your thoughts to carry you away. Use that smartphone, tablet, or carry a small notebook to record ideas, notes, or observations. Your writing goals will thank you with great rewards later!
So how about it? Take the pledge: Share what you’ll be “turning off” to have a more productive and fulfilling writing week. Let us know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!
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*eMarketer: “Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media,” 1 August 2013.