by Loretta Eidson
Are you struggling with relentless distractions? If you’re like me, your calendar fills with deadlines, projects, and commitments. Finding the time to complete each task weighs on our minds. At times, we have so much going on we give in to the distractions around us and avoid facing the workload.
- Distraction (Google definition)–a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else
What are some of the biggest distractions you face? Social media may be at the top of the list because it is a necessary tool for building a business platform, but it can consume your day. The same goes for television, emails, phone calls, and text messages. They disrupt productivity when overused, leaving random moments for writing.
Distractions are everywhere, waiting to consume valuable writing time. They show no mercy as they steal your focus and make it difficult to pull away. A few more minutes turn into hours, and a promise slips from your lips. “Tomorrow, I’ll make time to reach my word count.” But tomorrow arrives, and the desire to scroll through social media again wells up. Before long, weeks slip by, and your unwritten story remains unwritten.
A commitment to fulfill writing goals will help determine your success.
While distractions tend to hinder your writing, some can actually be refreshing and encouraging, like hanging out with friends, movie nights, or walks in the park. It’s up to you to monitor your time and be proactive.
- Disruption (Google definition)–disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process
Unexpected things happen, and when they do, you must adjust your schedule. Who plans a visit to the emergency room or a death in the family? What about sick children who require personal attention and cry for you to hold them or the elderly parent who needs help? You become ill and don’t feel like lifting your head from the pillow, much less sitting at a keyboard. These are conditions beyond your control, so your writing schedule must shift to meet the needs.
For instance, last year I planned to attend a writer’s conference. Excitement mounted at the thought of seeing fellow writers again. I had started packing and printed out my flight itinerary; however, a disruption in my life terminated my schedule.
The doctor placed my mom in hospice. With her in such a delicate condition, I opted to forgo the trip and sit by her side, a decision I will never regret. All writing came to a halt. Five days later, mom moved to her new home in heaven. A month after her death, I resumed writing.
My example may be extreme, but you get the picture. Whether the disruptions are big or small, they still require attention and take you away from writing goals. Writing may suffer for a season, but once the situation resolves, you will be ready to edit an article, write a blog, or finish your manuscript.
Here are three simple steps to help stay on track.
- Avoid distractions that interfere with writing goals. Silence phones, turn off the television, close social media links, and notifications.
- Don’t procrastinate. Stay ahead on commitments. When unexpected disruptions arise, you will be glad you’ve already fulfilled those obligations.
- Get organized, prioritize, set achievable goals, and conquer one task at a time.
Regardless of the reason for falling behind, deadlines, obligations, and responsibilities will still hold a date on your calendar. How you handle them makes a difference. Stick with your writing plans and make the appropriate adjustments. Follow-through is vital to success.A commitment to fulfill writing goals will help determine your success. @lorettajeidson #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Loretta Eidson writes romantic suspense. She won first place in the 2019 Sandra Robbins Inspirational Writing contest and was a finalist in the 2019 Serious Writer, Writer of the Year Contest. She won first place in romantic suspense in the 2018 Foundations Awards at the BRMCWC. Follow Loretta on her website and Facebook.