Dealing with Distraction

I’ve read several articles and blog posts lately about managing distractions in the workplace. I work in a shared space in my home, so distractions are manifold.

Apparently, for many home workers, the TV is a distraction. It’s a distraction I can avoid. I have learned that sitting still is the enemy of creativity, so I don’t go near the TV when I take a break. My lunchtime is used for exercise, housework or gardening. If I meet friends at lunchtime, I either walk to meet them, or meet them for a walk.

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Because I work on my own, I am responsible for my own working environment and equipment. These are responsible for a host of distractions that cannot be avoided. Sourcing supplies, resolving IT issues and maintaining my workspace are all tasks that don’t result in a finished chapter. Yet they still have to be done. I know I write best, and most, in the mornings, so I schedule time in the afternoons for non-core activities.

The most challenging distractions for me are those relating to measuring progress. Checking how many people have read a post, and of those, how many have clicked ‘like’ or ‘share’, comparing those statistics across my website and social media networks, seeing how many comments readers make about my posts, checking if anyone has posted a question on my Goodreads page, studying my sales figures, contrasting the reach of one post against another, even totalling the word count for my book – these are all important activities, but they don’t need to be done every day. They can be scheduled, too.

What’s the problem?

The problem is I don’t always stick to the schedule.

It’s a bit like when someone goes on a diet. As soon as they know they are not supposed to eat chocolate, all they want is chocolate, right? Even if they weren’t actually that bothered about it before.

Eventually, I will get bored of all this measuring and it will cease to be a distraction. In the meantime, if you have any tips for putting this out of my mind, please leave a comment. I will definitely read it.

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