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Monday, October 5, 2015

Dear Distracted Writer + Giveaway

Dear Distracted Writer,

There are distractions everywhere from our day jobs to our children, but the biggest distractions nowadays are our cell phones and social media.

Every day, every hour, and most likely multiple times an hour, we are checking our emails, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Not only does maintaining these things take a lot of time, but they suck away time like black holes. We can get pulled into scrolling mindlessly through our feeds, retweeting, commenting, and sharing everything we see. And when we are doing this, we aren’t being productive. We aren’t writing, editing/revising, or whatever else we need to do as writers.

Being on social media is part of that but there’s a point where it goes from being work-related to a big fat distraction that aids procrastination.

So what can you do to end distractions?

Unplug! This is the most obvious solution.

1. Turn off your cell phone.

2. Disconnect your landline.

3. Temporarily delete your Internet icon (on your computer) so you won’t be tempted to click on it. Just make sure to un-delete it before you clean out the waste bin.

Image from Flickr

Once you unplug, try one or all of these following techniques to get some real work done:

1. Every day designate a period of time to writing and only writing. Example: 3pm – 6pm. And during that time unplug using the 3 steps above.

2. Choose a time every evening to shut yourself off from social media until bedtime. Every day about 6pm, I turn off my computer to give myself a break from checking emails, my blog, etc. I unwind when I do this and feel less stressed. And not once do I sign into social media. I guess you could say 6pm is my social media quitting time.

3. Pick one day a week to unplug for a full 24 hours and designate that day as the day to get sh*t done. I pick Sunday for this because there’s less traffic on my blog and fewer people engaging on social media. Not having to worry about social media for a whole day feels great. It allows me to recuperate and gives me energy for the upcoming week.

QUESTIONS: Do you practice of those techniques? Do you have a problem with social media distractions?

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Huntress said...

All of the above tricks work great...until the hubby comes in and says, "Come here, you gotta see this." Or "Cows are OUT ON THE ROAD. Come quick."
"I need help with this wrench. Are you doing anything important?"



Chrys Fey said...

Haha! Huntress, I don't have a hubby but I can see that as a problem. :P

Hannibal Hills said...

Great advice! I wrestle with online temptations like Social Media every day. Far harder than quitting donuts (though maybe not as hard as quitting coffee, but I have no intention of doing that!). Keep up the great writing!

dolorah said...

I have not problem "unplugging" from social media. I'm not all that excited about it. Most of my procrastination comes from reading for reviews and critiques, and those darned card games. Right now I'm also distracted by family and yard work. Its getting the wrong time of year for the yard, and I'm about to take a four month blog break. Hopefully I'll get a few short stories written and submitted during that time.

Liz A. said...

I'm nowhere to be found online on Saturdays generally. Just busy out doing stuff. It's kind of nice.

Bish Denham said...

I have a laptop that I use for writing. It's never been plugged into the net. I have to use our PC for that. I don't have a fancy phone either. My distractions come from myself much more than from "outside."

Chrys Fey said...

@Han,social media is the new addiction.

@Dolorah, that's great! You have an advantage against those who do have a problem. Lately, I've been distracted with health insurance issues and phone issues. Both have not been pleasant to deal with.

@Liz, Saturday's are great days to get out and do fun stuff.

@Bish, I only use my laptop for writing too. My PC is for blogging and social media, which is why I now hate being at my desk. :P

diedre Knight said...

I presently have more distractions than usual and look forward with desperate hope that they will shortly pass. Though I'm getting good at juggling, it's never been a goal of mine ;-)
But yes, in quieter times I am often overly fond of social media and find it helps to take a laptop outside to write - or at least away from the office. Since there seems to be 'apps' for just about everything, I wonder if there are any coaching apps? Perhaps a pop-up that reads "Whoa, have you finished that chapter yet? No socializing until you do!"

Chrys Fey said...

@Diedre, moving away from the distractions, such as taking a laptop outside, is a great idea! I'm looking forward to doing that as soon as Florida admits that it's autumn. :P A coaching app for writers would be perfect!

Kai Strand, Author said...

That's funny, I actually said to my husband the other day, "You know I don't really need this phone. It's more a toy than a tool and can be distracting." I'm seriously considering getting rid of it, or switching to a pay-as-you-go plan so I only use it for emergency communications.

Great advice, Chrys.

Chrys Fey said...

@Kai, what's even funny is that I just got my first smartphone last week. :P It is a distraction because I keep checking to see if the little light is blinking for a notification.

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Chrys,
Glad to be here again after some time!
Great tips here to follow!
Yes, distraction is a great hindrance in a writers life!
I am sure these tips will surely unplug those nasty situation!
Thanks Chrys for sharing
I am going to follow all of these tips
Keep sharing
~ Phil

Chrys Fey said...

@Phil, thanks for stopping by! I hope these tips help you to eliminate distractions. :)

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

@Chrys hey please provide a share button here so that your readers if they like they can share your posts from here itself its a must! Please provide one Thanks
Have a good day
~ Phil