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.

2 comments:

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???

We welcome payola in the form of pies, cakes, neatly folded laundry and free books!

In accordance with FTC regulations, we're required to inform readers that we receive books from publishers, authors, and PR folk for review. We'd like to receive money via an offshore bank account, but that hasn't happened yet. When my dad was in radio back in the '50s, a local baker used to sneak over in the dead of night and fill the back seat of his car with bread and pastries. We would NOT object to this. Please review our review policy here. And let us know if we should leave the car outside the garage tonight.

Peace, love, and statutory compliance ~
Joni