Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finding Focus

It's not easy recovering from a few days of holiday celebration to get back into the old workflow. I'm finding today especially distracting as I fend off cyber-shopping temptations and, even worse, an all-day Firefly marathon on the SciFi channel in an attempt to feel my way back into this manuscript.

Desperate for focus, I'm resorting to a few old tricks, including:

1. Headphones to block out household distractions. I prefer listen to music without lyrics for the most part. The music of Philip Glass is an old friend I can count on, but I'm also test-driving something called Focus Optimizer, a white noise sort of program which is supposed to help you tackle your to-do list and organize your thinking. I'll report back on how I like it later, but I'm all for anything that will help to minimize my chronic lack of focus.

2. Shutting off Internet distractions. If you're a Mac user, I highly recommend the program Self Control, which allows you to block whichever urls you designate for however long you set. Once started, it cannot be disabled by any means for a quick game of Bejeweled, an all-important glimpse at your Amazon sales ranking, or the insidious temptation of Facebook.

3. Scented candles. Don't asked me why, but lighting scented candles as I play music informs my brain that it's time to work. Unless I choose one I'm allergic to, which informs my nose that it's time to sneeze.

So how do you find your focus. With the holidays coinciding with a tight writing deadline, I'm eager to add a few more tricks to my arsenal.


Kay Hudson said...

You can see how focused I am (on finishing the unfinished WIP I entered in the Golden Heart)--here I am reading other people's blogs, listening to News92FM (yes, 24/7 straight news has returned to the Houston market!). I am also way too close to the refrigerator. I have absolutely no secrets or hints for staying on focus beyond sitting here in front of the computer and forcing myself to type. Which I am now going back to.

Kathryn Paterson said...

Keep going, Kay! You'll do it. :) Going to follow up with this post if I can remember how to make a new post! Ack! Have I really been gone this long???


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