If you are a work from home blogger then distractions are your constant companion.
The freedom that working in your pajamas brings also allows distractions of every nature and chime to cloud your mind.
Your mind easily goes off on tangents. You start researching for a post like I do and you read about an interesting news story on squirrels. You are now interested in squirrels and then proceed to read an otherwise needless piece on how to raise squirrels. You suddenly remember about pigeon pies that a squirrel once ate and start looking at pies. That makes you hungry. You grab a snack. Now that you are snacking why not watch some tv?
It’s four and you have progressed from watching tv to binge watching Season 4 of Sherlock Holmes (which by the is on another universe compared to the original).
You drowse off. To come of your stupor when you ultimately wake up, you have your coffee.
You started researching at 9 am and its 6 in the evening now. Soon it would come full circle and you haven’t started writing yet.
An entire day gone thanks to squirrels.
Some suggestions to reduce distractions
Keep the unavoidable thing for last
The unavoidable thing. The thing that brings the bread home and allows you to butter it up.
If you’re a freelance writer like me or an engineering student you know all too well the incredible power of shelving everything up to the last moment.
You have to deliver a 2000 word article to your client by 11 pm and you haven’t started. Yes you sent an outline but we all know that’s hogwash.
When you have to deliver something by 11 and your friend calls you for a movie night or late night Netflix binge watching you realize the power of saying no.
You don’t have any option but to get it done.
So stave away the unavoidable for the night time when distractions are most.
Blogging doesn’t get the attention it deserves because all to often blogging is at the back-burner. You put your child to school and brought him back. Like every good father you played with him. You took your wife to dinner. You took your ailing parents to the doctor.
You have a few minutes late into night for blogging. So tired that you may as well abandon it.
Dedicate one year of your life to consistently blogging putting all these things at the backburner and you will be astounded at the results.
Stove away your smartphone
Have you watched the new tv series UnaBomber?
Not my attempt at distracting you. But there’s a lesson.
The Unabomber feels that technology distracts us from our lives effectively making us its slaves.
The phone beeps and you respond, it lights up and you have to see what happened. It beckons to you and you always respond: night or day.
Camouflaged as instruments of convenience they control and dictate how we live our lives.
He thought of this way before the current technological boom which has all of us glued to luminescent screens.
I am not here to make a case against smartphones or technology in general.
I am here to help you come face-to-face with your distractions and win them.
Block those push notifications
You don’t need something constantly nagging at you for attention.
I agree it’s a great way to market your blog. But you don’t need push notifications from all sites that ask to allow that.
I made that mistake early learnt my lessons and shut them up for good.
Barring a few really interesting sites, I keep push notifications away. And you should too.
Remember the Squirrel analogy I gave you. Sites send you content, no doubt interesting. You get distracted following the tail around.
Find your spot and a desk
A quiet corner of your house can double up as your quaint home-office. Your slice of heaven.
A sturdy desk and an unfailing chair is all you need other than a laptop, internet connection, water, fan, lights, emergency laptop battery, electricity to make your blogging life real.
Ensure that the place is free of distractions, animal-bird noises, away from the street so that don’t have to hear blaring horns and whooshing tires.
Stack it up with books in your industry. I’d like to stack mine with tomes on copywriting.
Clutter or no clutter is your prerogative. I find my productivity enhanced when I don’t have to keep up appearances. Einstein would agree with me.
Just keep in noise-free and inform your spouse or parents to not call you for grocery runs.
You’re running a business.