Some creatives must have uninterrupted time to be productive. They need the time, or else they can’t get anything done. Their process has been described as pushing a boulder up an icy hill. Near the top of the mountain, the slope shallows. It is at this point where they are the most productive. The longer the creative stays here, the farther along with the project they get. But the time it took for them to get there takes time, which is subjective to the creative.
On a typical day, the creative spends hours in the productive zone, where they only stop when exhaustion takes hold. At that point, they slid back down to the start, where the next day, they start again.
However, on a non-ideal day, one of the pitfalls that a creative need to navigate is distractions, usually by little non-furry creatures. Every time those little beings bug them, they lose focus and end up sliding back down the hill. This restarts the process and can stall the entire day.
This is a problem with me. I have two kids who tend to be distracting and want my attention. They are kids, after all. They get hungry, tired, cranky, and want to spend time with me. I understand there need.
But how do I get things done? I wrote over 527k words last year, and I plan to write over 600k words this year. So far, I’m on track to make my goals.
Five Methods to Keep Distractions at Bay.
- Significant other.
- Easy distractions.
- Wake up early/ stay up late.
- Write around their schedule.
- Train self to work with distractions.
One way to keep on task is to have a blocker. Setting up a set amount of time to get the work done and having the significant other to handle the walking distractions. This works if you have someone willing to help you with that task. Not everyone has someone ready to help or available to help.
This gets easier as the kids get older. Books, TV, computers. They are all critical ways to distract the kids with something to get some words done. Plug in a two-hour movie with some popcorn and then get to work. Getting the distractions understanding that they need to leave you alone is the cornerstone of the method. Having an easy access bin of snacks for them to munch on is also helpful, though be prepared for mess and overeating of the snacks.
Wake up Early/ Stay up Late
This one takes some sacrifice of the well-deserved sleep. This means to get up an hour earlier while the distractions are sleeping to get a few hours of work done. Or, for those night owls, it means to stay up late and get the work done in the twilight hours. This still means a sacrifice of sleep, but every hour helps. Sacrificing time watching Netflix or the lunch break at work is another time to use.
Write around their Schedule
School, dance lessons, swimming lessons. The longer, the better. This means spending money in terms of dance lessons, etc. If they’re in school, this is 6 hours of free time. Keep this time safe, and don’t let anything steal this time. If there is money in the budget for some type of lessons, use this time to get some words done. Dance lessons are an hour in length, which is a large block of undistracted time.
Train Self to Work with Distractions
The stereotype of having the perfectly clean creative space and the hours of no distractions isn’t available for everyone. My writing space is in the living room. I can’t just shut the door and block out everyone. My significant other does have her own tasks to do. This means that I have had no choice to learn how to get productive once more distraction one and distraction two are whining. This is hard and doesn’t always work, but it’s the best long term solution.
This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.