There are studies out there that show shifting between several tasks that require conscious thought will cost us a great deal of efficiency – up to 50%.
If you’re in a corporate environment and have had to go through the famous Time Management training, I’m sure you’ve heard that an interruption of your concentration on a focused task can cost you up to 20 minutes of lost focus. So, continued interruption can cost you a great deal of productivity. This is even more important for authors. To be successful at writing, we need good organization and top concentration on our craft.
· Get rid of the phone. Turn it off, lock it in a drawer, hide it between your mattresses, or bury it in the back yard. Do whatever it takes. And don’t be sneaky and leave the house phone plugged in. Unplug it.
· Set a timer for however long you plan a session. I like to set mine for 60 minutes at a time.
· Now, here’s the hardest part (at least for me): Close down your social network. Yep, get off the internet, shut it down, walk away. Close your email programs, instant-messaging, texting, Twitter, Facebook, and anything else that can interrupt your session. No excuses. It will all be there when you return to it.
I can hear the moans and groans already. What, you want me to write in isolation? I need commotion, organized chaos, background noise, something! I’ll never be able to concentrate like this.
Okay, if you need background noise, turn on a stereo and play some music. NO television. It is a visual distraction. Find some music that will help you get into your rhythm. I use Pandora.com and where I have different play lists for different moods. I’m one of those who can’t listen to vocals while I write, I find it too distracting and always want to sing along, so I’ve made a couple of purely instrumental lists.
I hope you’ve found this post helpful. Don’t forget to leave your comments and let us know what works for you. Do you have a secret way of closing out the world so you can write? How do you deal with whiny kids, barking dogs, ringing doorbells, or any other intrusions?
As always, I wish you all the best in your success.