Setting the Stage for Writing Your Next Bestseller
We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat down to work on a project for a designated amount of time with no distractions, only to have something snag our attention after ten minutes. I know that I’ve done this more times than I’d care to admit. However, there is a way to show your distractions who’s the productivity boss, and it all starts with where you choose to write.
First, find a home away from home that works for you. The separation between home and work should be distinct enough so that you commit to writing when you’re away from home and commit to relaxing when you’re at home. Ideally, you’ll want to pick a place that you’re comfortable in. Think a quiet coffee shop, or a public library, or even outside on a park bench. Personally, I like to write in the basement at a local university library because it’s quiet and private. However, if writing at home works for you, that’s great! I only envy you a little…
Though you do want to find a place you’re comfortable in for day-to-day writing, when you’re on deadline, you’ll want a location that makes you feel uncomfortable in. A magical thing happens when you make yourself uncomfortable: you become highly motivated to get things done, and get the hell out of there. Voila!
Once you find your two spots for both day-to-day writing and looming deadlines, you’ll want to minimize distractions. First things first: put that phone away. Try keeping it in your – gasp! – car during writing sessions. Reaching for your phone is typically a mindless gesture. If it’s out of reach, you eliminate the time suck. Also, if you receive messages on your laptop, turn your computer’s “Do Not Disturb” option on and take the messaging app off the dock so you don’t see the red notification bubble pop up. Need to enter Extreme Productivity Zone? Turn off your computer’s Wi-Fi completely, and only turn it back on when you need to research something for your manuscript. No exceptions.
At the end of the day, you can only finish an entire book if you dedicate time to it. And you can minimize total time spent by finding a productive place to work and removing electronic distractions. Then give your undivided attention to the task at hand: writing the next great American novel.