Effective Methods Of Avoiding Distractions While Writing
Insights, reviews and solutions that you need to write smart.
One of the challenges writers face daily is the inability to resist distractions while writing an article or a story.
You probably have had an amazing idea in the past, and you picked up a pen and a note to put it down.
After some thoughts, you proceeded to write an article, but before punctuating your second sentence, a message dings, getting you to drop your note, and check the notifications on your phone.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Minutes later, you may realize that you have wasted half an hour checking out messages, WhatsApp stories, and links that lead you to other exciting web content.
What’s more infuriating is that by the time you get back to your note, there’s a new development – you can’t remember what your amazing idea was or how to continue from the few words you have written.
Even if you can recollect your thoughts, there could be that pinch of doubt that tells you to leave the beautiful ideas in your head and write about them later, perhaps when you can envision them better.
Distractions come in various forms, and the terrible thing is that you often don’t realize that they affect the creation of content for your story until it is too late.
To avoid distractions every time you decide to write, you need to learn what the forms of distractions are and how to overcome them.
THE TWO FORMS OF DISTRACTIONS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
1. External Forms
These are common forms of distraction. The advantage you may have over an external form of distraction is that it is environmental.
The problem can be solved by simply changing your position or steering clear of objects or activities that distract you.
Examples of external distractions that distorts a peaceful writing process are:
- Phone calls
- Social media notifications
- Alarm system etc.
- Unexpected visitors
- Vehicles in transit
- Aircraft etc.
- Barking noises from neighboring homes etc.
How to Overcome External Forms of Distractions
I. Find Somewhere Quiet
Depending on how serious your writing project is, the best thing to do is to find a solitary and less noisy space to focus on your write up.
Noises from the above-listed examples are often reported to affect concentration, especially when you need to engage your mind via meditation.
An excellent place to avoid every form of external distraction is a library.
Professional freelancers often leave their homes to write at a hotel or in a quiet garden. A change of scenery, such as the beach during working hours is also a good idea.
Another thing you could do if the option of finding a solitary space is off the table is to do your writing at night.
Jot down whatever ideas you could think of during the daytime. When most people are asleep, you can switch off all nearby electronics, keep a cup of coffee by the side and get down to business.
II. Set Deadlines for Each Writing Task
Working with a deadline helps you focus on your writing goals.
While writing, there is a tendency to get bored and procrastinate when you have no deadline fixed to your project.
The urge to check social media messages can be curbed when you set a time limit. It’s a mental-conditioning strategy that helps you focus your mind on writing tasks.
Time yourself, at least, to see how much you can achieve within a set timeframe.
A good advantage of doing this is that you will feel the urge to keep writing even after the deadline.
In case you intend to manage time after creating a deadline for your writing task, setting the alarm on your computer is the most effective way to go.
2. Internal Forms
External battles are often easy to overcome. However, the toughest battles are self-induced, and they may take a very long time to curb.
Take the following scenario, for instance.
You’ve turned off your electronics. You have also separated yourself from noisy environments. However, there are voices in your head that distract you, aren’t there?
Those resonating thoughts in your head that have nothing to do with your writing but keep popping up to lure you from your writing task.
This is simply your mind going against you while you write. So, how do you stop the varying thoughts and voices in your head?
Well, you can’t. No one can.
There will always be thoughts in your head, whether you want them there or not. The brain is continuously active, so the propensity of regularly rehearsing actions from the past and figuring out decisions for the present is almost very likely.
However, you can subdue these thoughts in your head as you write.
And as distracting as any of them could be, none is as powerful and as difficult to subdue as fear.
How to Deal with Fear as an Internal Form of Distraction
Fear is a powerful emotion that arises as a result of a threat or perceived danger. Writers mostly worry about immediate circumstances such as:
- The lack of enough research to write content for a story or an essay
- Not knowing what to work on
- Not knowing how to start a writing project
- The fear of not meeting a deadline
- Worrying that important calls or messages might be missed if phones are switched off or kept away etc.
As a writer, an excellent way to conquer fear is to make adequate preparations before writing. Preparations involve gathering the right resources for a project, making proper consultations, and doing sufficient research.
Having adequate information gives you confidence and equips you with the optimism to flow unstoppably.
A good write up takes hours of brainstorming, organizing, and editing.
So, to avoid the feeling of worry or fear, it’s best to start writing days or hours to the deadline, depending on the volume of the write-up.
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