The distractions of life are addictive.
How is it possible to fill a whole day with a million little “productive” tasks, only to discover I’ve run out of time for the work that really matters?
For me, the month of September will not be frittered away.
My kids are going back to school and that opens up hours of uninterrupted time to write.
Summer was good. We had a full, exhilarating, glorious season, but I’m ready to get back to work.
The Focus Experiment begins on September 4 - a month-long test to discover how I’m most productive as a writer. Also, I want to find out what emotions emerge from the boundaries I’m going to place between life and my career.
If you have a project that’s longing for focus, join me!
I’m currently in my seventh revision of THE CHANNELS, and I want to finish this draft by the end of September. I’ll have 19 working days in the month ahead to accomplish my goal.
- Your turn. Is there a project you want to focus on in the month ahead? Take five minutes to jot down some possibilities and choose one focus on.
Week 1 Experiments
Here are three strategies I’m going to try in order to focus on my goal.
Facebook & email. I’m going to stay off Facebook and email until 11 a.m. on workdays and limit my time to only 10 minutes each using Tick Tock Timer. If I need to log in later after writing, that will be okay.
Phone calls. I have a hard time focusing when the phones are ringing off the hook. To help, I’m going to tell my close friends and family what time of day they can reach me for pressing matters, or simply return their calls during breaks.
Household chores. First, I’m going to create a clutter-free office environment so I can literally shut the door on chaos if there are a lot of chores to do around the house. That way I’ll be able to disconnect from the clutter so it won’t affect my writing. The chores can wait.
Also, I plan to visit the library as needed, one of my favorite spots for peace and quiet.
- Your turn: Do you have habits that distract you from what’s most important? Create some boundaries for yourself, like I did with Facebook and email. Chores are never done, but the key is to use your time wisely. Writing time shouldn’t be laundry time. In turn, family time shouldn’t be hurry-up-and-cram-some-writing-in time.
Focus Experiment Schedule: Week 1
In case you’re curious (and as a way to hold myself accountable), here is what my schedule will be for the first week of The Focus Experiment.
6:30 – 9 a.m. – Nurture myself and family. Workout, give rides to school and prepare for the day.
9 - 11 a.m. – Write.
11 – 11:20 a.m. – Snack, Facebook and email time.
11:20 – 12:30 – a.m. Write.
12:30 – 1 p.m. – Lunch.
1 – 2 p.m. – Write
2 – 2:30 p.m. -Break
2:30 – 4 p.m. – Write
4 p.m. and on – Dinner, chores and connecting to those I love.
- Note: I’ll post an update from Week 1 on Monday, September 10. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook and Twitter for daily focus tips.
Do you have a goal for the month ahead? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by Lori Greig