Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I’ve been working on National Novel Writing Month in November. It’s #6 for me, and I have successfully completed the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days five times.
This year it has been difficult to get focused. Email calls me. Facebook (which I normally don’t use) beckons. Heck, even Solitaire was more attractive than writing!
I finally had to take drastic measures in order to eliminate these distractions. Here is what I ended up doing:
Uninstall Local Time-wasters
I’m not one for playing games on my computer. (I normally play on my iPod Touch) But for some reason Solitaire and Minesweeper seemed irresistible. (I know, I know…)
My solution? I uninstalled them. This could be done for any program that doesn’t give you value for your time.
One of my friends commented that I was obviously avoiding something, since I had posted to Facebook multiple times during two consecutive days. She was right. I was also checking my email, re-filing my email, checking Twitter…you get the idea.
My solution? I installed an add-in for Firefox called Leechblock. I set up the times I wanted to be blocked, and the sites that needed to be blocked. There is one set for weekends, where I have to make sure I get my time-wasters in before 10 a.m., between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m; beyond that I am limited to 10 minutes every two hours. Weekdays are blocked after 7 p.m.
Go Full Screen
I am distracted by things on my computer screen. I want to check the weather, the time, my task list, my current wallpaper…you get the idea.
My solution? Both of my novel writing tools, Pagefour and Scrivener come with full-screen modes. When I am writing I find this the best way from going off doing other things. I press the key to take it full-screen and write.
Listen to Pink Noise
I can be distracted by noises. Hear a noise outside? I’ll look out the window. Hear my daughter laughing at a television program? I will go to watch.
My solution? I turn on the MP3 player and listen to Pink Noise, as I explained in How I Use My MP3 To Concentrate
Go For An All-In-One Solution
Let’s say all of those things are not working. I have a final weapon: an all-in-one. This program goes full screen with hidden windows controls, and provides a soothing audio track and keeps me writing.
For those days when I just can’t seem to corral my monkey mind, I pull out ommWriter. A full screen application with three soundtracks to pick from, it keeps me from being tempted by other applications.
The Absolute Last Ditch Solution
If I really can’t bring myself to get on with my writing, in spite of the above, I do the low-tech: I turn the computer off and pull out a pen and paper.
Do you have any solutions to cutting back on computer distractions? Share below!
Photo by TDOMMDAD