Our dog Reese has a concentration problem. If food or a toy is involved, she’s all ears. But when it’s time to go outside for you-know-what, every single thing is a distraction. Birds. Bugs. Kids screaming at recess. Power tools.
Those furry little creatures have captured her attention for countless hours. We often find her at the patio door, watching them scurry around.
We all have our squirrels. Things that might be good, but take our attention from what really matters. Whether that is school work, Bible study, or writing, we need to learn to deal with and eliminate distractions.
I get easily distracted by my writing community. There’s nothing wrong being on a social media, in fact, it can have great benefit. But when it distracts you from what you should be doing, you have a problem.
Another internet sinkhole I’ve fallen into is research. A simple search of “How tall is an eight year old?” turns into hours of Googling ways to survive a bear attack. Very important to know when you spend most of your time indoors. 😅
How do you deal with the distractions of a computer/phone/tablet when you need to write on it?
Tip #1: Write on paper.
Writing on paper isn’t right for everyone. And you certainly can get distracted using a pencil. There’s nothing magical about this method.
I find that it helps me to concentrate on one project and keeps me from editing as I go.
Tip #2: Turn off the internet.
Disconnect yourself from Wifi. Turn on airplane mode on your device. Get an app like the Freedom App (I haven’t used it before, but I’ve heard good things about it).
Sure, you can easily turn it back on if need be, but if it’s simply to scroll through Facebook for “just a minute” or to look on Pinterest “for inspiration,” you might find yourself deciding not to click the “on” button. It’s a little reminder of what you should be doing.
Tip #3: Write before surfing the web.
Make checking your email or social media a reward for completing your writing for the day. Tell yourself you can’t watch your favorite bands’ music video until you meet your word goal for the week.
Tip #4: Make a research list.
Instead of stopping writing to look up how far a horse can gallop before it drops dead, make a note about it and keep going. You can go back and add in the details later.
Just remember to actually look things up when you’re done writing!
Whatever you decide to try, the only to way for it to work is for you to stick to it. Hopefully you won’t get distracted by squirrels any more.
Hey look! A squirrel! *runs off*