Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Having Serious Focus Issues… ?

Not much action on the blog lately. Are you feeling it? My fiction production has taken a downturn, too.

Spring is in the air, and despite the length of my to-do list, (or maybe because of it) I’m having a hard time staying focused.

Anyone else having that problem? I’d rather be hiking than writing these days (hell,  after all the snow we’ve had this season, just sitting in a sunbeam is enough to make me giddy. I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse.)

Knowing I can be such a slacker when the weather gets nice, I’ve put together some strategies to help maintain productivity:


  1. Make a “Must Do” List. I usually keep two running “to do” lists. Today, I have 27 items on my “writing” to do list and 26 on my “other.” I’m going to choose the top five writing items I absolutely have to get done in the next week or so and concentrate on those. I’ll put the list on a sticky note and attach it right to my monitor.
     
  2. Break Up the Work This probably seems counter-productive, especially if you work full-time as I do: I get little time to write during the week days: not enough to break up. But during the weekend it’s my usual M.O. to spend hours at the keyboard to make up for lost time. If I set finite goals, and a deadline, I might be able to accomplish just as much as if I’d been staring at the monitor all day.
     
  3. Work on the “Bad Stuff” First. For me, that mean’s tackling the non-fiction items on my list. I’d rather be working on my novel. With that goal in mind, I’m hoping I can whip out the non-fiction faster and move on to fiction.  (I’m fairly confident I can accomplish this since I used to be a reporter…) Afterward, writing fiction should feel like a reward.
     
  4. And Speaking of Rewards… If I get everything done on my list before the deadline, I plan to reward myself with something.  Something outdoor-sy like a a hike or a long walk or even a long drive…something out. 
     
  5. How do you stay focused?

4 comments to Having Serious Focus Issues… ?

  • Marg Papanikolas

    Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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