I know you’ve been advised to turn off the internet. But do you do it? Are you still getting your email notifications and Facebook notifications and your Twitter stream as you work? Please tell me you are not. My answer to the oft asked question can writers multitask is no. Maybe you can, and I’m just limited in that regard. If so, let’s hear from you.
As for me, here are some tips that help me to stop multitasking as a writer:
Establish strict rules. Most writers write at home. Few have a nice cozy office away from children, pets and/or retired husbands. If you are one of those few, forget about reading this post! The rest of us need to lay down some rules to our families. DO NOT DISTURB while I’m writing.
Whether you are writing a short story, a novel or your blog post, set a goal. While writing a novel or story, I set a goal of 500 words a day. For blogging, the goal is simple, finish today’s post. Once you finish that goal, you can turn on the notifications and you can open the door to your family.
Put it on your calendar. Writing from 10-noon on Monday. Writing from 1-4 on Tuesday. Plan your writing schedule and hold yourself to it. You can do the grocery shopping and dinner preparations after you finish.
For example, if you have a proposal that is due for some upcoming event, do that first. Get it off your plate. I suggest to clients that they use the A, B, C method to prioritize their work. A items are the things that have to be done, otherwise gloom and doom will happen. B items are the things that would be nice to get done and you’d feel great for doing it, but no gloom and doom. And C items are the things that it really doesn’t matter if they get done or not. Unfortunately for most of us writers, writing often falls in B or C category. When your publisher is breathing down your neck, then the project moves to A. So, do your A projects so you can get to your B projects.
Again, most of us write in our “spare” time. If you say “yes” to everyone, there will not be any spare time left.
Candy, banana, power bars, healthy snacks. Just make sure you don’t get up and wander into the kitchen.
So, those are my tips for how not to multitask while writing. What tips might you add?
Fortunately I did a few of these things and I completed my first novel. The Facebook Launch party is tomorrow. Join us for a chance to win a boatload of prizes!