Writers Write creates blog writing resources and shares blog writing tips. In this post, our guest blogger gives you seven tips to remove distractions while blogging.
As writers, we try our best to stay focused. But we still catch ourselves scrolling through breaking news and celebrity gossip on social media.
Even a blink of the mobile notification LED distracts us. In this age of digital insanity, focused writing is becoming more difficult. Studies and statistics show that even minor distractions create a massive loss in productivity and make us take a long time to get back to the normal track.
On the other hand, we lose 28% of an average workday due to multitasking and pumping ourselves with Cortisol.
How can we remove those distractions and produce the best content that everyone loves?
In six years of writing, I’ve found some hacks that helped me push beyond my boundaries with focused writing.
7 Tips To Remove Distractions While Blogging
1. Create An Outline
Pre-writing preparation removes many potential distractions.
Once you finalise the topic, find relevant resources, read books, look for what’s trending and note down what you want to include in the draft.
Additionally, you can bookmark relevant pages that you need to refer later.
If you are one of those who open a document and just start typing; hear me out. You need to prepare a detailed blog post outline even before typing your first word. With this, you can make sure that the content is of the highest quality.
You can make use of tools like Dynalist or Workflowy for creating great detailed outlines prior to writing any of your blog posts. Good outlines give you directions while writing, it helps you establish content depth and breadth effectively.
Strange enough, blog outlining has been one of the most effective productivity hacks in my writing process. Preparing detailed outlines seems like a time-sucker initially if you’ve never done it. But it can save a lot of time.
2. Find The Perfect Time & Place To Write
You’ll notice a significant rise in productivity when you move from a crowded coffee shop to a calm writers’ room.
That’s because good copywriting requires focus.
Find a calm place and schedule your writing tasks for minimum external distractions.
I like to write in a single place. At the office, I have my own cabin and at home, I have my own room. These are the places where I find myself truly comfortable and forget myself in “the flow”.
If you write in highly unpredictable places like cafes, parks, no matter what you think, your mind never stops being vigilant in the background. You may be unaware of the fact that it is preventing you from being creative.
Usually, your mind is fresh in the morning and can generate amazing ideas as well as write with focus. However, you should choose the best time when you can write efficiently.
Early in the morning, our energy level will be high and it continues to decline during the later parts of the day.
For me, morning hours are my creative time, and I tend to do all my meetings, errands, follow ups, later in the afternoons and evenings.
Again, you have to toggle the time now and then and see which works best for your enthusiasm and imagination.
3. SWOT Analysis
If you know your strengths and weaknesses, then only you can find the best opportunities and fight with upcoming obstacles.
How does this relate to writing and being distraction-free?
SWOT-analysis helps you find a niche where you can stun thousands of minds with your thoughts. By working on topics you’re passionate about, have expertise in, it is unlikely that you will get bored or distracted.
The SWOT analysis helps you prevent wasting time on random topics, helps you focus on a single topic and hone your skills.
4. Turn Off External Distractions
Enabling DND (Do Not Disturb) is the best way to get into a writing mode. Social media, online games, unnecessary phone calls, and TV shows are major time wasters for a writer.
You can avoid these things to achieve better productivity.
Some external factors are out of your control, especially the kids, emergency calls or meetings. However, you can minimise these things by planning ahead of time.
Block out your writing time, meeting time, family time, and more importantly agenda planning time. In the blocked times, make sure nothing distracts you.
Disconnecting the internet lets you explore the beauty of the inner mind where thousands of creative ideas are born.
Regularly practising digital detox is also a great way to get more clarity and helps you write in a creative way.
5. Create And Follow A Timeline
Planning and scheduling help to organise all tasks and complete them before the deadline.
You need to spend time on research, drafting, editing, formatting and finalising the copy.
Since you have individual time slots for each task, you can focus on a particular task assigned for that period. It helps to streamline the entire writing process and achieve targets without any headaches.
Unless you have a clear timeline and a deadline, how could you expect the maximum productivity and the same peace of mind?
Always remember Parkinson’s Law – “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”.
6. Distinguish Between Drafting And Editing
Many people fail to differentiate between the draft and the final copy.
The draft is a raw piece of content that needs to be edited and improved. Editing each sentence before completing the draft may distract you.
Writing and editing involve entirely different parts of your brain. The former requires you to be more “in the flow”, and the latter requires you to be vigilant and rational. You can’t effectively be rational/vigilant while being creative.
7. Train Your Brain
You can achieve distraction-free writing mode only when you control your mind, irrespective of the place or time you choose.
You need to develop a writing habit by gradually improving the concentration. This will help you stay focused while working on longer projects.
The Pomodoro technique is a great time management method used by over 2 million people. It teaches people to work with time instead of fighting against it to finish tasks and meet deadlines.
This technique allows you to perform a particular task without distracting yourself for a specific period before taking a break. And, the cycle continues till the work gets completed.
Pomodoro timers are set traditionally for 25 mins. Some people find setting 50 minutes sprints helpful for them. It’s your choice but never go beyond an hour.
You can also do meditation and yoga. Music and proper sleep are a few other ways to improve brain efficiency and achieve better output. You need to learn energising your body earlier in the day so that you can smoothly pull throughout the rest of the day.
Finally, find ways to relax your mind, body and control the body’s stress response so that you can write without any distraction.
Because writing is fun.
I hope you found my post on distraction-free writing helpful.
No matter how well you write, there’s still room for improvement. You need to learn to optimise your mind, your systems, processes, and the environment for maximum creativity.
Always remember that even the smallest distraction can have a significant impact on your creativity in the long run.
What tips do you follow? Let me know in the comments section below.
by Akshay Hallur
Akshay Hallur is the founder of BloggingX. BloggingX helps aspiring bloggers and businesses to leverage the power of the internet and content marketing to spread their brand message. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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