Distractions and Time Management for Writing

Distractions and Time Management for Writing

October 5, 2017 | General, Writing

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Everyone is busy, let’s face it. We all have things to do, places to go and people to see. We have difficulties dealing with distractions and time management for writing. Especially in the western civilization, we are overstimulated with tasks on a day to day basis at work and at home. Our constant buzzing of phones for email, text, calls and social media don’t help either. We are far too easily pulled in numerous directions and more often than not, what we dream about doing gets thrown to the sideline. This raises the question:

How does one manage to write in a hustle and bustle of life?

Everyone who writes manages to make it work, they have time during the day to put aside all other tasks and interruptions to sit down and write. This may be for twenty minutes at the bus stop or for a couple of hours while their family goes to bed. Morning writers get up extra early to get typing away while everyone else is still sleeping. Regardless of how, writers will write.

Time

Every day we have 24 hours to fit everything important in. This includes, sleep, work, eating, socializing relaxation, etc. I mention relaxation because it is important to spend time to unwind and watch TV, read or meet with friends now and then. However, don’t forget about your writing.

Make time to write, don’t wait to have time

Something I hear people say all the time is “how do you have time to write?” There is a mystery that sitting down to write is an impossible feat that most people cannot reach. The truth is you have to move it up the priority list. Procrastinating, finding excuses and filling your day with other tasks is super easy to do and you push writing aside for weeks if not forever. The onus is on your to shift your schedule around and make writing of greater importance, that is the difference between making time and waiting to have time to write.

Single vs. Married with Kids

Now, this is far easier for me to preach when not having kids or being married. I also run my own graphic design / web development company which allows for more flexible hours. Yet when you look into many other author bios, there are plenty of authors who juggle full time 9-5 jobs and have families. This is where writing in the early mornings or evenings come into play.

Limit your Time

This may seem odd, but even limiting your time to small increments every day can help you reinforce the habit of writing. Try for 30 minutes to an hour each day and see how much you can get done. A little bit at a time is far more rewarding and productive than doing none at all.

Distractions

The second half of this post will be about dealing with interruptions. Even if you have made time to write, your attention can easily be taken away and you lose your precious moments to write.

Put down the phone!

This should be a no brainer. However a lot of us have a twitch reflex when it comes to our smart phones. We feel a need to be connected with our social circles all the time. Yet if you seriously want to write, avoid the phone while you are working. Turn it off if you have to.

Avoid the Internet

You may need it for research, but when you don’t, close the browser. It is far too easy to go down some weird exploration session on Wikipedia or YouTube. The internet is a vast and mysterious place, so don’t get lost in your browsing. Remind yourself of your goal of writing and don’t be so easily persuaded by the web’s charms.

Designate time, religiously

Another type of interruption is not taking it seriously enough. Make writing a ritual in your life like you would dedicate to exercise or even taking a shower. Do it on a regular basis so you build up a habit and you will find it is far easier to upkeep after the initial investment.

Passion and Discipline

You may have read online about passion or discipline being better than the other. I’ve always leaned towards discipline. There’s always times when you are not going to want to write and feel no desire to even lay down a word, but you have to keep at it.

Often passion and discipline go hand in hand, as we are writers and there is an underlining desire to keep writing no matter the challenges we face in our lives.

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