How to Cut Out Distractions When You’re Trying to Write

By Ruth Barringham

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We live in an age of distractions. It used to be just the TV that took up too much of our time but now we have technology distractions such as email, mobile phones and social media.

So how do you cut through it all and get down to writing?

I'll start by showing you the 3 biggest distractions and how to overcome them.

Family and friends and can be a writer's worst enemy because they have no respect for we do or the time it takes us to do it. They think that writing is easy or that it's not "real" work. And because we work from home they think they can call or drop round anytime.

As much as you may love your family and friends, they can be toxic.

So how do you keep people away when you're working?

The best thing to do is have a designated writing place, preferably a room that has a door you can close. Let everyone know that when you're in your writing place, wherever that may be, you’re not to be disturbed. It might take a while but eventually you'll get everyone trained.

Alternatively, go out to write. Go to a cafe or the library or even the park if it's a nice day.

Where you write doesn't need to be quiet. It just needs to be a place where no one demands your attention all the time. If you can't stand the noise in public places, listen to audios while you work. They can not only cut down on noise pollution, but are incredibly useful for helping you focus.

Phone and Email.
These are big time wasters. You need to stop answering the phone every time it rings. Let it go to voice mail. If you must keep your phone switched on while you write (because you have young children or elderly relatives) train them not to ring you unless they need you. If they ring for anything other than an emergency, let them wait for attention.

Social media.
This can be the biggest distraction of all...if you let it. The trick is to turn it off. You don't need constant Twitter for FaceBook alerts every time someone uploads a cute photo of their baby or kitten.

Designate your writing time for only writing and nothing else. If you must go on social media, do it after you've finished writing to announce what you've written to the world and include a link to it on your website.

Distractions are dangerous because they stop you achieving your goals. They steal time from you and time is something that, once it's gone, it's irrevocably gone. You can never get it back.

So unless you want to stay a slave to your family and friends or your to your email or your social media "friends," turn them all off and stop wasting your time on unimportant distractions.

Sit down and start writing. And only when you've finished should you plug the world back in again.

This article was researched, written and proof read in 25 minutes.

See also:

3 Simple Steps to Writing Quickly

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