Wednesday, March 20, 2019

My Biggest Distraction

DISTRACTION. What a great topic for authors! I wish I could blame it on someone else. But unfortunately, I have no one to blame my distractions on but ME!

Yes, I have to take 100% responsibility for this one because:
  • Who flips through news headlines when she sits down at her computer instead of opening the Word File she's working on?
  • Who clicks on some of those headlines to follow the "rabbit hole" of reading that beckons from beyond?
  • Who answers her email instead of getting right to her current work-in-progress?
  • Who scrolls through Twitter letting the latest controversy take up prime real estate in her mind?
  • Who decides she's hungry and goes to the kitchen for a snack even though she just ate lunch?
  • Who lets the dog coerce her for one more time outside, before she gets to her work?
  • Who cleans and organizes desk drawers when her manuscript sits waiting?

Obviously I could go on and on, but it doesn't matter how many more questions I pose because the answer to all of them is ME. To anyone trying to accomplish their work for the day, distractions like these are a real threat to productivity and to completing long-term projects. But, that said, because all the distractions stem from the same thing, the solution to all of them is the same as well. Just as I'm responsible for giving in to all these things that have the potential to distract me, I also have the opportunity to decide to be disciplined instead of distracted.

I've come to realize over the years that distractions will always be there. Noticing them, naming what they are, and finding a way to keep them at bay is my strategy for getting my work finished. So, when I find myself on the wrong side of the things that take me from my work, I pay attention to what those things are, and then I find a way to keep myself on the right side of them. For example, I don't let myself scroll through news headlines until my work is finished. I keep my phone off my desk to curb the temptation of Twitter. I reward myself with that snack once I'm ready to put aside my writing for the day.

Most of all I remember, that, if I'm the only one to blame for my distractions, then I'm the only one who is able to do anything about them.

Happy Distraction-free Reading & Writing,

1 comment:

  1. Man, am I guilty of chasing those headlines. But I like what you say about just recognizing distractions. If you don't recognize it, those momentary distractions can go on all day...