It's funny how a deadline can reveal weaknesses in one's self discipline.
It makes you a little more conscious of how many times you raid the kitchen for a snack or walk out to the mailbox.
Then there's the desk straightening, and the sudden need to vacuum the dust bunnies underfoot. And the refrigerator. Just look at how dirty it is! It needs to be cleaned out. Right now, of course.
What does one do when faced with so many distractions?
Here are a few things that have helped me:
1) Ignore the phone. If nothing else, I screen calls. (That
way, if someone calls to say I won a big writing award, I won't
miss it.) I also mentally set aside "working time" and don't answer the
phone. Too many calls can hijack the day.
2) Dismiss the chores. I'm not saying that we should ditch housework, but sometimes things can wait. The sun will still rise tomorrow if the carpet doesn't get vacuumed today. But we won't get paid for the article if we miss a deadline because we got sidetracked chasing cobwebs.
3) Reschedule the must-do-now distractions. The bookshelves that scream to be alphabetized? Tell them to hush. The overflowing file
cabinet that's mocking you from the corner of the room? Don't stress over it. They will be there tomorrow.
4) Close the window. The internet is by far my biggest distraction, like a tangent waiting to
happen. I get WAY more done if I close it.
These simple actions help me better manage my time. With a good balance of determination, self
discipline, and flexibility, my writing stays on track.
What keeps you from your writing or other projects? Do you close the window? What helps you stay focused
and get things done?