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.