Staying Focused

Once the workspace is clear, the windows are closed, the phone is turned off and the coffee has been made it’s time to sit down and write. So, how to stay focused? I find that I have a terrible habit of starting to research something on the Internet that I need for the place I’m up to in the story and then I can lose hours wandering around cyberspace. The problem with this is that I can convince myself that I’m actually working. And yet no words are appearing on paper. Hmmm… I must set a rule – No Internet While Writing. I’ll make notes in the book of what I need to know and keep on writing. I’ll set aside an hour at the end of the day for research and limit internet time to that. I also have a habit of starting the day by checking my email. This can also result in large amounts of time being taken from writing. I’ll check emails at the end of the day too. I’ll be more efficient as without having all day to answer emails I’ll be organized and precise. (At least that’s the plan.) Regular breaks to stretch my legs and grab a bite or a coffee are helpful, so long as they are planned. Typically, our brains can concentrate on one task for about 45 minutes, then a quick break and then back to work. Other than these strategies I guess focusing on work is ultimately about of willpower. And developing that is a matter of practice.

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