Dealing With Distractions
How do you write (or live) when you’re surrounded by distractions? Recently, a great teacher was talking to me about me being his writing coach, but he was hesitant to start right now because of his new class load.
I’m a seize the moment kind of human because I always expect to die tomorrow. That ticking-clock point of view keeps me moving and going despite distractions, but I know not everyone is that way.
When I was a newspaper editor and Em was little, I was always dealing with distractions and I would write anywhere – at a planning board meeting, at a swim meet, at the Y on the bike, waiting in the car to pick Em up after school, in bed, standing at the counter, anywhere and everywhere. Noise was everywhere. Ten-year-olds would be having sleep-overs. Dinner would need to be made. Dogs would be barking.
And I would write.
I knew that if I wanted to write, then I had to write. And to do that? I had to force my brain to filter though the distractions and be in the flow.
So how do you do that?
According to an article on the Entrepeneur by Deep Patel, which we’ve linked to in the notes for this podcast, there are several decent methods for dealing with distractions.
Make It Chill
He says to, “Begin building habits that help you eliminate distractions and stay focused. Start by creating an environment in which you’re less tempted to get preoccupied with something other than what you’re working on.”
That means make things quiet. Close your door. Turn off the cell.
Make Pretend Deadlines
Deadlines make us focus. Make small time limits for you to get your work done instead of giving yourself all day to get your priorities done. I (Carrie) do this all the time, actually and even stress about my completely self-imposed deadlines. That anxiety sucks, but that focus? It makes me get a lot of things done.
Get into The Pondoro Method
What is this? It sounds sort of x-rated, right? It’s not.
Patel explains it as a method “in which you set a timer and are completely focused on a task for a period of time, such as 45 minutes straight. Then allow yourself a 15-minute break.”
It’s actually another thing Carrie does all the time, only she’s a 50-10 split. She also makes herself stand for that 10 minutes because she’s afraid of Dead Butt Syndrome, which we talked about in an earlier podcast. You should look it up. It’s wild in a dead-butt kind of way.
There you go. Three hot tips to help keep yourself from being distracted in 2020.
Writing Tip of the Pod
Don’t let distractions become your attention.
Dog Tip for Life
Pant throughout the podcast, look cute, and rest your muzzle on someone’s knee.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
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