WordClerks

Some Ways You Could Deal With Distractions When Writing



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Some Ways You Could Deal With Distractions When Writing

Distractions like writers block are something writers have to face and deal with. There are times you'll have to cope with distractions especially if it is something you can't change. For things you have some control over, you could use the strategies below to combat two common distractions.

Email and Social Media
There is no reason why you should check your email every 15 minutes or visit your social media page each time you get a notification. Set aside time for checking your email and social media account. It could be twice or three times a day. Make sure you plan your day so you do this at the time when you (take a break from writing). 

Full-Screen Word Processor
This ensures that you focus only on what you are writing. If it's Word, switch to full screen mode. Those icons of open programs (especially your browser) won't tempt you to click on them until you have to, which is after you've completed what you were doing. 

Comments

jaymish3

I'm the biggest culprit to distractions. I have learnt how to deal with Email, I check it once a day. However Twitter and Youtube distract me. On Youtube I can get caught up watching various blogs and waste many hours I could have spend doing productive work. On Twitter once I begin reading and reacting to people's tweets I waste hours. Both are addictive to me. The best way I have found is to check social media once a day in the evening when I am free.



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Steve5

I believe it's a form of psychological manipulation. Mind experts have actually studied this and confirmed that tech developers find ways to get us hooked. They target our trigger parts. It's these things that make us more likely to do something. Kind of like click bait titles but more persuasive.



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allyn2017

I feel you, I try to concentrate but I still end up using social media than doing my works.



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Jeane

I used to have the same problem. Anytime I was on the internet first thing I'd do is take a look at my Facebook page and chat with friends who were online.

When I realized I was wasting too much time on Facebook, I deactivated my account. That helped.

At times extreme measures are the only answer when you have to beat an addiction.



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Steve5

I'm sorry to hear that. I don't know if mine's at the same level. But not using social media sites for more than a week changed things. I had more time than I thought. That's what I realized since online stuff no longer took my precious writing time.



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focusedwriter10

I will retake this step again. I had deactivated my social media for 6 months and my productivity increased. I realized WhatsApp and Twitter are taking much of my time nowadays.

I will delete and deactivate the accounts again.



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Jeane

No need to delete because you may need the accounts later on for marketing or something else. Just deactivate. That way you can get back into your account any time.

The other advantage of deactivating especially for FB is that even though you may be inactive for a long time, none of your friends can "unfriend" you because your account won't be visible to anyone anymore.



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focusedwriter10

Cool, I get it thanks for giving the best solution. These social media platforms, especially FB and Twitter are totally distracting me from giving the best in my work.



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Steve5

It's a common problem to most of us. I find that turning your phone off helps a lot. It's what we usually use to connect online. That way, we can avoid the temptation while writing.



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theresajane

I feel the same way too. It's really hard to just stick with your work. It is because our minds needs something that refreshes it as it may be tiresome to always work and write.



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DenisP

Ugh, you’re telling me. I got so distracted with YouTube this morning that I’m still upset with myself. I woke up a bit late this morning, and I told myself that I was going to start my work at 10:00 AM. Well, around 9:00 AM I found this really cool science channel on YouTube that was talking about neutron stars, black holes and all this other stuff I’m interested in. I was watching one video after another before I realized it was already 12:00 PM!

I had wasted two hours I should’ve been working simply because I was distracted by YouTube, and now I won’t have as much time for video games this evening. Damn it, YouTube.



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nrnlss

I agree with you, like right now I should be working but rn I am watching YouTube videos and browsing in Facebook.



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Steve5

We're all guilty as charged. And when it's not watching YouTube, we're usually busy using apps. Especially, those dreaded games. I remember when Candy Crush used to be the latest thing. There are many apps like that. It takes up too much of our free time.



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Youngshark

Do not even remind me of candy crash since it had addicted numerous people in my neighborhood. Some almost reached the level of causing accidents as they were glued to their screens when on a traffic jam.



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superlicca

I can relate to you. Youtube is one of the biggest distractions for me. I am subscribed to a lot of Youtubers and having the Youtube open on my browser will lose my focus on writing. If there is a new video uploaded, I will get a notification right away.



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superlicca

I can relate to you. Youtube is one of the biggest distractions for me. I am subscribed to a lot of Youtubers and having the Youtube open on my browser will lose my focus on writing. If there is a new video uploaded, I will get a notification right away.



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superlicca

I can relate to you. Youtube is one of the biggest distractions for me. I am subscribed to a lot of Youtubers and having the Youtube open on my browser will lose my focus on writing. If there is a new video uploaded, I will get a notification right away.



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Alymae

True. This is what I do too. I check my email twice a day. Once in the morning when I wake up and before I go to bed. I open my social media once a day. During this time, I post pictures to my pages and reply to messages. I don't spend to much time on social media unless I am posting something relevant to my pages. I can also get caught up watching YouTube, what I do is I limit the number of videos I can watch a day. I also list all the things I must do for the day and I try my best to stick to it.



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DenisP

Both are good pieces of advice, but the I like the one about the full-screen word processor in particular. I’ve actually found this little secret on my own. I realized that so much as looking at a certain icon on my desktop is enough to trigger some sort of impulse in my brain to make me want to click it. I think it’s most likely a result of habit/classical conditioning. I know when I click my browser icon that I’ll get all sorts of funny cat videos and memes, so my brain instantly wants to click it when it sees it.

A big tip that I have for people in general is to try and meditate for at least 10 minutes a day. Meditation has done wonders in terms of my self-discipline, and it’s actually been proven to be more helpful than medication for people who have actual, clinical attention deficit disorders.

It isn't just purely psychological either, as MRI scans have shown daily meditation literally changes the physical structure of your brain.



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amelia88

Do you use anything specific for your meditation? I’ve heard of people using things like guided apps and stuff, but is there anywhere you’d recommend for a meditation newbie to start?



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DenisP

When I started off meditating, it was through a series of guided meditations created by the author/meditation teacher Jack Kornfield. Eventually I ran into an application called Calm (available for both Android and iOS phones) which has all sorts of guided meditations, timers, and sounds/music to help with meditation.

Although there are many different types of meditation techniques, I can quickly introduce you to the simplest which I do on a daily basis.

First, you sit down in any comfortable position—no matter whether it’s in a chair or cross-legged on the floor, just a position where you’re relaxed but not too relaxed—and breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Do this breathing technique three more times, and you should find that your body and mind are just a bit more relaxed.

Then, focus your attention on your body. Take the time to relax every single part of your body, starting with your feet and moving up all the way to the top of your head. It helps to mentally bring awareness to each body part as you relax it—I like to be specific as possible, like “going from my right big toe all the way to my little toe, to the heel of my foot, to my calve, to my knee, to my thigh” and so on. This helps not only to relax your body but grounds you in the present moment.

From there, focus your attention on the tip of your nose, and mentally say to yourself “in” as you inhale, and “out” as you exhale. Keep your mental awareness at the tip of your nose and really pay attention to the sensation of breathing in and out. Do this for around ten minutes at first, or as long as you feel comfortable with. You're going to get a lot of intrusive thoughts that make it hard to keep a clear mind, but just pay attention to them rather than reacting to them. Each time you catch your thoughts wandering, just gently acknowledge the fact that you’ve wandered off, and come back to your breath.

That’s basically all there is to meditation training.



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amelia88

Thank you for taking the time to write me such a detailed reply! Meditation is something that I'd really been wanting to incorporate into my daily routine...but honestly, I was a bit intimidated and didn't know where to start. You made it sound much more approachable, even as a newbie...I really appreciate it!



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DenisP

Not a problem at all! Meditation is a topic I love talking and writing about, and I actually wanted to write so much more about it, but I wanted to make it as easily digestible as possible for a newcomer. The idea of meditation can seem really intimidating because things like video games and movies have taught us to think it’s something only monks and Jedi masters do.

The fact is that meditation is as natural as breathing or eating, it just starts to seem complicated when you give it a term.



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stbrians

Making rules and sticking to them can really make you avoid destruction. One reason why we slander is that we do not have rules. Rules win.



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nrnlss

I agree with you with this. And I love how you arrange this strategy. I hope it will work in me.



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Kakashi2020

When it's my "Writing Time" , I don't answer or check for calls, messages, emails, comments and notifications etc. My mind is focus in writing only. I do give myself a break but still I won't check it even during break time. I've learned my lesson, that I won't be able to finish what I'm doing if I spend my time doing other things. It's just focusing on my priorities.



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amelia88

Social media is a big one for me. It’s hard to resist not checking it, so often I actually turn off my WiFi at the router when I really need to work (it’s downstairs) and then just crank out my work in Microsoft Office. Don’t need an internet connection to just type and save work - so that’s a sure fire way to not get sucked into the social media trap!



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stbrians

A very prudent way to do it. I can see your point. You cannot wake up from your work to turn on the wifi. So you work with no distractions.



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amelia88

Sometimes it's the only way to avoid distractions - completely eliminating the way you access those distractions! It might not work for everyone but it works for me, and I'm sure some other people may benefit from the strategy too!



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Youngshark

Hahaha great of you to know your weakness as it is only such knowledge that can make you super productive.



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Youngshark

I love opening only the important browsers as I work or write and this prevents me from getting any kind of distractions atleast until I am done. With my phone I just give myself breaks to check all the notifications after working for several minutes.



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stbrians

Not me. I open a window and just as I begin typing, something pops up and I go to look only to forget what I was doing before. I have to make use of these this seriously. I have to avoid the distractions.



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Youngshark

This is very serious my friend since it can heavily impact your productivity. I also have a problem of forgetting my initial goal if I give in to distractions and this is why I try as much as possible to avoid them,.



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stbrians

Browsers? Already that is one too many. I thought you deal with one at a time?



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Steve5

One way is to disconnect from the internet. It's probably the number one distraction when it comes to online writing. I've found it helpful since there's significantly less stuff to do other than your goals. Writing is also a form of discipline. As with anything worthwhile, it's going to be difficult but eventually rewarding.



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stbrians

Only two precautions and very powerful. By he way, were you talking about me? I do these things all wrong. I keep on checking my mail. Sometimes I do it quite involuntary. I enter the mail only to realize I have been there a few seconds before.

I open other windows as I type and am easily distracted.



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focusedwriter10

Sounds like we are having the same problem. I always find myself checking my emails every other minute I am connected.

Sometimes, this costs me a lot of hours. I try setting time to check emails but it does not work for me. I honestly lack discipline when it comes to this.



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stormbreaker10

Just off the wifi and see the difference, lol.



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ElectorAlexande

Hahahaha, the Wi-Fi doesn't change it all, after turning off the Wi-Fi few minutes later you feel weak and decide to rest and then turn on the Wi-Fi again, lol.



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stormbreaker10

Then bite your hand, lol. Kidding aside, it really depend s of how you dicipline yourself, thats it.



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emiaj55

Nothing beats a habit but a habit. I have this habit where I check my phone every now and then even though it is not ringing or there are no new notification. It seems as though I am actually looking for something to do in my phone when I am actually in the middle of writing. This really is a bad habit since I frequently lose focus. These tips will help but it would take time to form it into a habit.



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burgosmichael24

One of the biggest distractions for most of us are social media. The purpose of these is to stimulate and manipulate us. The culprits have learned the art of manipulation. They know how to get someone hooked into their bait. The suggestions mentioned above are good and I find them helpful. However, that was just a piece of the many to help you overcome distractions. One of the best way is to exercise self discipline and start on the little things. All the good advises and suggestions will be put to waste if we can't control ourselves.



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ElectorAlexande

Addiction is a bad disease and can turn the best advice to just a noise when we are not ready for a change, but it's not really easy to stop it because to many it's now an habit.



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hstinscdln

Try setting a calming environment wherein you could forget such things and focus on your writing. Get a place with an ambiance that sets the mood for you write. Try turning off your phone while you are writing. Find an inspiration that will motivate you to continue writing such as a song that makes you fall in love or a song that hypes you up to take vengeance or a genre that is in line with your story or writing.



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ElectorAlexande

Yea thats a great help to stop any distraction and relax when you read to avoid disturbance.



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Kakashi2020

I agree, that's why I usually do my writing projects late at night until dawn. It's quieter in the house when everyone's asleep and that goes well with my insomnia, instead of doing other things at night atleast I'm earning from writing.



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katarinamurtin

You are right! Social media is definitely my enemy while writing... Instagram, whats app, messenger I use them all the time so I get notifications in every 10 minutes or so and OF COURSE I have to check it (even tho I know it's not important at all ). I hate that! That is the moment when I know I am ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA. That is why I usually turn off my phone while writing and I noticed I actually write better articles when I don't have my phone to distract me .



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ElectorAlexande

Hahaha, keeping it normal when doing something else, I just think it makes me lazy and confused most times.



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jpk0007

That is very true, one has to deal with a lot of distractions, both online and offline while working. Sometimes the distractions are so frequent that you get disturbed while working and the line of thoughts and work get distracted. Most of the times it is about the email notifications. You do get the temptation to see whether a particular message is important. Most of the times you get disturbed by routine emails which are not urgent. I guess ignoring the email notifications completely is very essential to work peacefully on your writing project.



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ElectorAlexande

I think turning my mobile phone off and staying in a dark room just with my lamp and a table and chair where I can meditate on what I want to write and feel relax and concentrate fully in it.



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esteban123

Social media sites is really one of the things that distracting me whenever I am working online, As much as possible I am refraining from opening my social media sites so that I can focus well on what I am doing.



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mdayrit

I have programmed myself to use the laptop only for writing and other work related activities. I get too lazy logging in to all my social media accounts. I only get distracted by it if I have my mobile phone with me. Just by putting my phone away from me, I get rid of that kind of distraction.



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ajahcuizon

I hope that I could also get the same self control that you had to deal with social media accounts. But I would like to try your way by taking your phone away from you. I guess that would be a good idea like putting it in a far table while I'm working in my bed. On that way, I'll feel lazy to stand up and get it.



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superlicca

Your tips are helpful. I can relate to others who can easily get distracted by Social media. When I write, I always have my Social media accounts open that is why I know if there is a notification. Something that will get my attention. I think by not using them, I can focus on writing and give my 100% attention.



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anyone01

Definitely. I do not get something great in checking those emails popping up now and then. Rather than normal checking up emails, schedule particular instances during your day to check your e-mail. For exchanging small info you may use chat tool. You may be better able to focus to your writing without distracting out on something.



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Corzhens

When I am writing and there is noise or distraction in the living room, I would stop and do something else. Our dog would bark when there are people by the gate or when there is a vehicle backing up by our gate. What I usually do is to stand to check what is causing the dogs to bark. But when I am in a hurry to finish what I am writing, I would go to the bedroom and use the laptop. At least I have privacy and it is peace and quiet.



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jayjaydimson

I can't deal with distractions while reading especially if it's a noise from my computer or noise from the environment, I can't focus on writing stuff.



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ajahcuizon

I always got distracted by my social media account leading me spending too much on them and lose time on my work. I'm still trying to figure out an effective way for me to refrain from scrolling through my social media. I can't uninstall them because I need them for updates and notifications. I will try to do your suggestions to control it and just spend 2-3 times checking on it. Hoping that it'll work.



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theresajane

I don't know if I will be able to perfectly master the art of not being swayed by distractions. Our minds sometimes need something that can keep us away from a tiresome activity for a short while. That's fine with me, but what's not fine for me is my inability to stop it and go back to writing. I sometimes become distracted by social media, never knowing that a huge amount of time has passed. It's hard to stop it.



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thejoyrevolutio

I turn off the internet when I write. It hard for me not get distracted. I get distracted easily so I keep to myself when writing. Music distracts me also so I don’t listen to any song. I like a quiet enviroment when writing. Music gives me inspiration to write but distraction while writing.



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Martinsx1

Turing off internet connection is one way to limit social media sites pop up distraction when you are working online.

As long as you have your internet connection active, it's definitely going to be pushing notification up and running interference with your work.



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mdayrit

I am one of those people who can focus more if I listen to music. This type of noise is what I use to avoid getting distracted with other noises in the house.



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Martinsx1

Some people are actually very comfortable listening to their favorite music when working online. In fact, it serves as a source of focus for them while there are some people who can't stand the sound of music because it would distract their mind and concentration.



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Martinsx1

As long as you are willing to work online as a freelancer, distraction is always going to crop up whether you want it or not, it's left to you to determine how you can manage the distraction from allowing it mess up your work. Scheduling your work is one way to get ahead of any kind of distraction.



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stbrians

There was a time I wanted to open a certain site and just opening my computer I thought of another. I went round and round and it was only in the evening that I reakized I never want to the site



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Judas2018

@Martinsx1 But what about the 'unforeseen' distraction? Like people dropping by unannounced, an emergency in the neighborhood such as a blackout, or god forbid - your computer suddenly crashes or malfunctions out of nowhere.



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amelia88

I might be super antisocial saying this, but if I'm not expecting someone I just don't answer the door. Usually if someone needs me they would call, text or email first without showing up. Since my home is my workplace I try and treat it as such. Having someone swing by unannounced would be a massive distraction to me.



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Kakashi2020

There can be a lot of distractions when writing. Most notable are Mobile Phones with its alarms, notifications, calls and messages. That's why it's best to put your phone in silent or in airplane mode when writing.



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amelia88

Airplane mode is a good idea, and very quick and easy to do. I think phones are probably the number one distraction for most of us these days, so eliminating calls and texts from coming through can really be helpful.



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Judas2018

I don't get distracted while writing unless it's a major issue like something falling, a fire, screaming, etc. I am always focused. I think people get distracted during tasks because they allow themselves to become so.



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amelia88

Gosh I'm jealous! I wish I had that laser-like focus, I feel like I get bored easily at times, or my mind is racing for the 100 things I feel like I need to do at any one time. If I'm overloaded with work and have taken on too many tasks I end up getting super distracted.



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focusedwriter10

I realized that social media, especially WhatsApp and Twitter are my biggest distractors. I had deactivated and deleted my accounts for nearly six months but I developed another bad habit of checking emails now and then.

I will try and stick to my rules now. This is my final challenge of remaining disciplined and focused.



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NerdIndeed

Same here, notifications from social media apps such as the ones you mentioned are distracting when coming up with content. What I do is turn my phone to silent, it never came to the point of deleting my accounts from them as I still find it necessary for messaging.



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amelia88

I think checking emails isn't as bad as the distraction that social media can cause. For me, I have to be checking my email multiple times a day because it's how my clients contact me. If I'm slow to reply to an email I may lose out on a job to another freelancer.



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jayjaydimson

I'm focusing more on writing than letting my self-distract on what am I doing, it's more okay because you will have a good outcome when writing in focus.



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beerthooyah

Using white noise applications improves my concentration. Everybody can download it on google playstore. White noise is just basically a sound that is not too loud for the ears and helps you relax and concentrate. Examples of white noise are sound of falling rain, waves of ocean, wind, or even spinning washing machine. I recommend this to other writers if you are being distracted by the noise in your surroundings or neighborhood. It would help to block off unwanted noise and may also boost your productivity. I personally use the app "Relaxio" which available on Playstore. This app helps me concentrate and even helps me have a good nights sleep.



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amelia88

I sometimes use white noise apps when I'm having trouble sleeping but I never thought about using it when I'm trying to work - especially since I usually stick to complete silence. I'll have to give it a try sometime and see what I think of it.



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mcnasci24

I have a couple of essential rules to ensure that I will write without distractions. Working from home, and in this case, writing, is not something that can be done at any time. Muses do not exist. Establishing a schedule and fulfilling it is essential for me to maintain concentration. That schedule will be sacred, nothing and no one should interrupt my work. Not even myself.

Another thing that sometimes goes through my mind is: nobody sees me, nobody watches me. Why don't I get up and leave this work for later? Big mistake. I take a long breath and visualize what I would like to do or solve at that moment, just for a few seconds. But I do not get up, I recover my concentration and keep writing.

Throwing the towel is the easy thing. Besides, that's a bad habit if you intend to finish your work on time.



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Steve5

That's a very passionate answer. I can see how dedicated you are with your work. I guess writing muse is a less accurate term for something that we all have. The more appropriate term is creativity.

After all, we won't be able to write imaginative stuff spontaneously without it. It's just that there are times when it's there. Sometimes it's just gone.

I'm just glad that I'm not writing with a deadline in mind. It's not my cup of tea since I'm left stressed by it.



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romyter013

I do the same thing too. Facebook really eat my time by just scrolling it for I don't know i can't stop scrolling it down like I'm looking for a nice topic and it wont stop giving you different topics and stories which really eat the half of my time. So I make sure if I'm doing something is to open my laptop and play my jazz music, in that way it really help me concentrate more to finish what I'm doing for that specific day.



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Steve5

It seems that Facebook is a big culprit. Particularly, when it comes to procrastination. We're easily distracted by status updates and new posts online. A simple solution would be to turn off your WiFi while writing.



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gutzman

Nowadays there are so many distractions and it is normal. Why? It is because of the growing technology itself we tend to be multitasking every single day. Eating while watching TV, texting/calling, talking to our friend and the like. I myself do couple of things at the same time. It's very tiring and makes me feel under pressure especially when two important things should be done within a time span. It could only be a problem though when you're not that type of person that is used to multitasking. That's the time you need to make a schedule for you to able to focus on them one by one. There would be no distraction if you have nothing else to do that time aside from what you have to do like writing. It's really hard to manage things nowadays. Distractions are everywhere.



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amelia88

You're so right about the fact that in our world these days we are just filled with distractions because we're always trying to do 1000 things at once. I think that's some really good advice though - to be intentional with what you do, whether it's your writing, your meals, your exercise, your time with loved ones. Be present, and the distractions seem to fizzle away.



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NerdIndeed

These are great tips, Jeane, thanks. As for me, what I do to avoid distractions is to isolate myself from the world. I know it sounds weird, but I do this by locking myself in my room, put my phone on silent and start doing what needs to be done. So far so good.



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luv2xacosta

When I write I have to find a quite place where no one can distract me. Also, I have learned my lesson, so every time I'm working, I use to turn off my cellphone just to make no one can call or text me. I always plan ahead of time so to do that I have a planner when and where I am going to write and before writing I also check my phones and my emails if there some important messages. So that I can notify those who messaging me that I'am working.



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mhingnhormz

Some ways you could deal with distractions when writing: Ever since when i was still studying I used to be alone if I need to focus my attention in what i am doing. I prefer to go to quite place to have a peaceful mind. For me if I am alone or in a quite place i can find easily ideas/thoughts and my mind is at ease in a calm but productive way.



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Corzhens

I was like you when I was a student. But when there is a distraction in the home then I couldn't concentrate on my studies. I have 11 siblings so you can imagine the chaotic house that we have when everyone is at home. Even when I am in the bedroom there is distraction because I don't have a room for myself. What I do is to wake up at 3 am or 4 am to do my studying. During that unholy hours all the people in our home are asleep.



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knnon

I agree with your post. It is true that distractions are everywhere and the main thing we can do to keep focused is to manage our time wisely. One will need to set the time for working and be firm about sticking to just doing and finishing the work and set aside time for social media/email/phone, like maybe during your breaks, which in turn can also be used as a motivation to work so think of it as a mini reward.



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rose61

WhatsApp,Facebook and conversation are my main distraction when writing. To avoid distraction,my phone is always on silent mode when I'm writing.When I'm through with writing, I go back to my phone.That's when i'll reply all the missed calls and other texts from Facebook and WhatsApp.



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rlpzbeermoney

I'd invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones. Believe me. It's trippy not hearing anything from your surroundings. It fades away when you start to play music. Best investment I could ever recommend with people getting annoyed by a noisy environment. Though, still be mindful of your surroundings in public. You might ever know your stuff is getting snatched as you zone the world out.



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mhingnhormz

Some ways you could deal with distractions when writings: That's true, the first distraction while writing specially when your using a PC is the social media unless if you log out your account there. It was good topic for the writers who can easily distract by social media. In my case I can't be distructed by social media but a phone call.



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