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Writing is hard without focus…

Doesn’t it happen all the time? You sit down to write with the best of intentions, but quickly become distracted? And then, sometimes hours later, the thought crosses your mind, “Oh yeah. I was going to write” I’m the first to admit, this happens to me all the time. So I built a castle! I named itThe Tower of Time Management. I didn’t. But maybe I should.

“The Tower of Time Management’s greatest foe hobbies include attacking The Tower of Time Management’s walls with adorableness, knocking things off my desk, and sitting on my arm, effectively immobilizing me with cuteness.”

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Build a routine you can stick to. Every time I sit down to work, I check my email. I realized it was fruitless to try and stop myself, so I do check my email and I check my email as I write. The catch is, I don’t let myself respond until I am done writing. That’s a compromise I just had to make.

Set realistic expectations with those around you. I work mostly from home. I bet most of you know how difficult it can be to focus at home. Additionally, my desk is in the living room. That’s just where it fits. So I have the conversation with everyone that I live with. ” When I am sitting at that desk, I am at my office and I appreciate that you respect that. After all, I don’t drop by your office in the middle of your workday just to chat.” I actually printed out a sign that I hang above my desk that says, “I am at my office, thank you for not disturbing.” This can be a difficult conversation for both sides, so be careful not to come across as harsh or cold.

Eliminate distractions as they arise. This is an ongoing process. If you find yourself distracted by or playing with something on your desk, either move it off your desk or into a drawer. Especially if you are distracted by the same thing repeatedly.

Sit down with a drink and a snack. You know what’s right next to my desk in the living room? The kitchen! The kitchen is the greatest distraction I face. It could always do with some level of cleaning, and, frankly, I just love food. So I face that head on with a drink and a snack from the start. Again, that was a compromise I just had to make.

The phone. Now we’re getting deep. A lot of us struggle with boundaries regarding our phones. I rely on my phone for much of my work, so I simply can’t ignore it if I want to make a living. So it sits right next to me while I write. I don’t like it, and it does derail me occasionally, but it is a necessary evil. That said, if I am working and a call comes in that I can reasonably assume is a non-urgent call, I can and do let the call go to voice mail. If you don’t rely on your phone for an income, if the majority of your calls are friends and family with non-urgent matters, consider turning the ringer off and putting it in another room. This will be a legitimate challenge for a lot of people, so this might take some practice. And that’s OK! Time Management is a process, not an event. It is a journey, not a destination.

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Posted in Photograph Post Date 03/26/2016


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