It starts when I want to change the song I am listening to. Inevitably, then I press shuffle, remember an artist I had forgotten all about, reminisce about all the good times I ever had while listening to this particular artist, Google what they are up to these days, find their new album, download it, listen to it, tweet about, text my friends about it, start burning a new Summer 2013 mixed cd, the list goes on and on. One simple distraction easily spirals out of control.
The very presence of the Interent, and the fact that so much is right at my fingertips often distracts me from my writing, and keeps me from really concentrating to my fullest. Write with pen and paper you might suggest, and I do, everyday, but sometimes, there is something so wonderful about the speed of the keyboard. My fingers can keep up better with my brain as I tap away, and I am less likely to lose track of my thoughts. But the distractions are still there, my willpower is weak, and that’s a problem.
The other day I stumbled upon a helpful article on positivewriter.com
(clearly I was distracted from the work I was actually supposed to be doing and was looking around for new writing blogs….)
Anyways – the article was centered around the idea of a “distractions cleanse.” (You can read the article here!) The premise is that you choose one distraction, whether it be watching your favorite show every night, endlessly refreshing Tumblr and Pinterest, or Facebook stalking your exes, and quit it for three days. The catch is, that you replace that distraction with something positive. Whenever you want to reach for that distraction, you start working on what ever project you have designated for yourself.
Looking to do some more freelance writing? Research, pitch, get inspired, and write rather than give in to that distraction. The hope is, that you come out at the end of the three days, realizing you don’t really need that thing, and that you will stop making excuses that you don’t have enough time. We do have enough time. If something is important enough, you will make time.
So I challenge you, and myself as well, to take the three day challenge. No matter what project you want to work on, or what distraction you are cutting out, give it a shot. It definitely can’t hurt. I will be starting tomorrow, and checking in regularly, I hope you will check in too! Good luck, enjoy all of your found time!