Distractions come in many forms, whether it be your cat walking across your laptop, children or even just good old procrastination. Procrastination is something that as a writer – seems to be expected of us, numerous memes about us finding everything to do bar write and it has to be said there have been times where I am guilty of this. A myriad of excuses never make up for time lost, understanding why it happens and the longer you leave it the more behind you are. Switching off has been one of my worse habits and I do not recommend it to anyone simply because you end up missing out. In my quest to find out how to learn to switch myself back on I have come across several techniques which will be interesting to try. Addressing the reason as to why I procrastinate is something I need to do as well, it is a habit I’ve always had which is no excuse to carry it on. There always seems to be something more interesting which is ridiculous if you are in the middle of writing a novel what could be better than finishing it and showing it to the world?
Mobile phones are both a blessing and a distraction, they have taken over our lives by making themselves indispensable – there is nothing we can’t use them for and they are an opportunity to waste hours. Searching through social media to see if someone has paid attention to your status update about the ‘amazing coffee’ you had that morning, searching for external validation will mean that you are never satisfied, everything you do to make you happy has to come from you – mainly because not everyone is prepared to pat you on the back when you excel at something. On the other hand, it is also incredibly useful for researching and if you are prepared to remain impartial people watching – there are some real characters out there who could well be turned into a character in the same way as the mysterious regular at your favourite coffee shop out in the real world.
Focus apps are a good start if you need to re-learn willpower but it comes down to self-control, in my experience being switched on makes self-control a lot easier and much less likely that you will fall down a social media rabbit hole. They give you the control you need to turn the apps off, there are of course options for you to pause it etc but if you are using it to sneak peeks then stop and ask yourself if you are fully committed to it? Self-sabotage is tempting when you are stuck in your ways but you won’t make progress until you shove yourself out of the way and get on with it. Your goal is the most important thing to you and you would do anything to achieve it that last toy in the shop is your goal – the one you threw a tantrum for your parents to cave in and buy for you.
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