You wake up, stretch, sip your morning coffee, and declare, “Today is the day I finally get that blog done!”
As you step into the office, your co-worker starts chatting about last night’s episode of your favourite show. After your morning chit-chat, you receive a text from your best friend about the upcoming weekend. That’s when you look at your phone and notice you have three emails to respond to.
Eventually it’s noon and you haven’t written a word for your blog. You start thinking, “Maybe tomorrow will be better?” But, that’s what you said yesterday.
There are several priorities at work and home which consume your attention; writing content usually sits on the back burner.
I’ve trained all my life not to be distracted by distractions.
– Nik Wallenda
There sill always be distractions. How you manage those distractions is what makes all the difference.
If we keep flipping between blogging and our other priorities, writing can take ten times longer than it should because of our split attention.
The key to eliminating blogging distractions is to set up a focused work environment:
Work away from other people.
Whether it be co-workers, clients, friends, or spouses, other people can get in the way of creating blog content by asking you questions while you’re trying to write. Finding a way to distance yourself for short periods of time can prove to be very productive if this happens frequently.
The time and place you write are what you need to consider. Are other away from you in the morning, afternoon, or evenings? If you deliberately write at times when no one else is around, you can avoid other people distracting you altogether.
If you need to physically work in an office, book a meeting room for yourself. No one can tap you on the shoulder if they’re not within arms length.
And, if you absolutely must work next to other people, plug in a set of headphones. You don’t have to listen to music, but you’ll find co-workers distract you less because you look busier.
Remove technology interruptions.
Whether it’s in the background or right in front of you, technology might be your biggest source of blogging distraction. Your smartphone has the ability to receive email alerts, text messages, and social media updates. All it takes is one notification to pull us away from writing our content.
If you pull away from writing temporarily, you’ll spend additional time catching up to your last thought when you resume writing. It adds up.
Eliminate the temptation of looking at your smartphone by moving it out of sight while you write. If you must have your phone next to you, turn off any notification indicators such as ringers or vibrations.
Assuming you’re writing on a computer, make sure that you also close any browser windows and messaging applications. Stay focused on the task at hand.
Technology interruptions can also take place int he form of television and radio, especially if you haven’t seen or heard what’s playing before. Don’t watch tv or listen to music unless it complements your attention.
Schedule your distractions.
It may sound odd at first, but you can actually plan time for your distractions. They’re inevitable, so it makes sense to schedule, rather than scatter, your attention for them.
Taking intentional periodic breaks for distractions can even re-energize you.
I frequently use the Pomodoro Technique when writing content. It’s a time-management technique that allows you to focus your attention in intervals. Francesco Cirillo, the inventor, named the method after his tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
How to implement the Pomodoro when blogging:
- Open your blog editor.
- Set a timer to 25 minutes (don’t use your phone!)
- Write your content until the timer is up.
- Spend 5 minutes on distractions (answer questions, check email, Facebook, etc).
- Repeat steps 1-4 times and then take a 15-30 minute break,
You can attend to other priorities without getting distracted by them. I use a program called Focus Booster to implement my Pomodoro when writing content.
Enjoy your boost of productivity! Let us know how you eliminate distractions in the comments.
John is the Founder & CEO of Wriber. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship, high-tech startups, thought leadership, content marketing, and artificial intelligence. John frequently volunteers his time at the University of Waterloo to help young entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. He’s also a faithful Toronto Maple Leafs fan, frequent Redditor, and lifelong learner.