Are you motivated enough to write, or are you being consumed by other things? Here are the types of distractions and how to deal with them.
Time is one of the biggest factors when it comes to writing, in any form. Everyone knows that composing work takes hours of ideas, planning, first drafts, editing, proofing and so on. This is why quality copywriters cost so much, and why good books are so undervalued.
So, if you really want to write professionally, you definitely need three key things:
(1) to truly love it
(2) rock solid dedication
Right- so we established that time is a big factor, and in today's busy world, we all have ever-growing time constraints. Children, jobs, socialising, business, errands, admin… Even reading this, you're already running out of time. So I'll be brief:
Don't let your writing project take up even more time by getting constantly distracted.
Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, and if you truly want to achieve that project you've always dreamed of, or produce that piece of work to the deadline, you need to put aside distractions and get motivated.
Types Of Distractions
(1) The Obvious Noise
Facebook, YouTube and pretty much all of the internet. Is that background music helping you or distracting your focus? Do you need to check Instagram every minute to see another photo of a cat? Turn them off!
(2) Endless Excuses
While it seems obvious, often excuses are far more subtle as distractions than you think. For example, you may put off that project because you don't have time (a self-perpetuating cycle, isn't it?), or you want to watch that one movie, or head out to a long dinner, and so on. Are they legitimate priorities or just excuses?
(3) Inside Our Head
Another subtle yet very powerful one is the distracting internal thoughts we all have. Yogis call it "monkey mind", and is when your mind wanders, your eyes phase out and you drift off, simply staring at your screen. Take a breath, pull yourself together and begin!
Will your work be good enough? Why bother, when the best writing has already been done? What will happen if it's not done by deadline? These kinds of worries, if not harnessed, act as a constant burden on your focus.
(5) The Need for the Next Big Thing, rather than in the Now
Sometimes, good intentions for the bigger better thing can distract you from your current project. Do you really need that new Writing software, when Microsoft Word will work? Do you really need to find the right photo to go with your blog before you even write it? Don't let the scattering of intentions cloud your focus.
How to deal with these and regain focus
It's as simple as this: if your motivation cannot drive your focus forward to pierce through all of the above five distractions, you're not getting your writing project done. It's truly that simple.
So ask yourself: do you really want to complete this project?
The reasons distractions have such an impact and take over is because we secretly don't want to do it. We procrastinate because we have other priorities on our minds. So, if you truly want to achieve and finish writing, you need to give yourself an answer.
If it’s YES, then it’s time to get committed.
(1) Set tough goals
(2) Turn off internet distractions
(3) Don’t bring your phone in to your writing area
(4) Breathe in and out, then just start (let the writing snowball)
(5) Schedule in time every day in your diary- no excuses
(6) Keep a Word-In-Progress document to keep yourself accountable
(7) Tell your inner voice that the world needs this project
As mentioned, writing takes enough time as it is to complete- don’t make it even longer by piling excuses and distractions on top of it all!