How Scheduling “Distraction-Breaks” Strategy Help Me to Focus More
People often ask me, “how do I get time for writing so many blog posts.” It didn’t happen overnight. I made a system for me.
Today I’m going to share the strategy that help me to write so many articles.
I write for some reputed publications. I also do freelance writing for many clients. I regularly write here on Medium.
I still remember the days when I was struggling to find time for writing. I took too much time to finish a piece of writing.
I told myself, “If only I could focus, I could get some writing or task done!”
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, employee, freelancer, or a student, you’ve probably asked the same thing yourself.
I started finding the reason why I had not enough time to produce writing.
And I found the reason: DISTRACTIONS.
The biggest enemy of productivity.
As Zig Ziglar put it best:
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
The problem is: We always think about focus and how to improve our concentration.
Focus is nothing, just an absence of distractions.
In this tech world, we’re surrounded by distractions.
Email. Smartphone. Social Media. Internet. People.
Our mind craves for these distractions.
As I don’t graduate from Hogwarts and I have no magic wand that can make all my distractions disappear.
But to survive in present time, we can’t avoid all these things forever.
Instead of making a strategy for FOCUS, I made the strategy for Distractions. That I call:
Scheduling Distractions Breaks.
Here’s how this strategy works for me
Let’s imagine a scene:
You have got some ideas and you’re ready to do some writing (or task) done. You open your notebook (or a doc in case you’re writing on your laptop). But what happens next?
You write a few words down and your phone beeps. Your friend sent you a funny video or message. You checked it out to give yourself a fun break.
Before you know it, you’ve lost your focus and your phone hijacked your attention.
Does this sound familiar? Do you find yourself glued to your phone?
It happened to me. What I did?
I scheduled the time in advance when I’ll use the phone or social media. In starting, I wrote it down on a notepad when I can use the Internet or phone.
When I sit on my desk to start writing…
I disconnect the Internet.
I switch off my phone and put it in another room.
I just write.
At this moment, Writing is my priority. Nothing else.
During this time period (2 or 3 hours), I don’t allow myself any connectivity.
On weekdays, I schedule my first distraction-break at 10 AM (As I’m a digital marketer, my work need to use social media and Internet) and on weekends, I schedule the first distraction break at 1 PM. From waking up to this time, NO connectivity is allowed.
Morning is the time when we feel our full energy and it’s the time which decides our day. In the morning, I feel more focused.
I read, meditate and write in this period.
Sometimes I finish my task (20 or 30 minutes) before the next distraction block. And I really feel bored.
Do I allow myself to use the phone or the Internet?
I take this time as a session of mental training. I read or just talk to myself.
If your work needs you to use your mobile or laptop. You can schedule the distraction-break after your work day is over.
Put your phone away and ignore everything. Only focus on what’s important right now.
As Tim Ferriss says,
“What you don’t do determines what you can do.”
I practice this strategy every day
If you go gym just for 2 or 3 days a month, you’re unlikely to shape your body.
If you spend 2 or 3 days a month resisting distractions, it’s difficult for you to create more focus.
In case I’m outside the home or work, standing in a long queue (or when I wait for someone in the restaurant) where I’m forced to wait. I don’t bring out my phone to entertain myself.
I just wait. Be bored. And enjoy the company of my thoughts.
I am not saying you have to follow my strategy. Come up with your system.
But if you really want to get the work done, you have to say yes to one option and no to everything else.
Just think what’s your priority right now!
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