Focusing… Sometimes on the shiny things

Updated: Apr 24

This last week my focus has been much better. I got a lot more done in the time I had and got to have some of the downtime I wanted. Of course, that does not mean I was 100% successful. It is going to take conscious effort to maintain. Organisation and prioritisation are both required. Neither of which I am good at when there are no deadlines except the ones I set.

Mostly I got distracted by the shiny low priorities items on my list – like making a new cover for Earth Bound which is the bottom of my list – rather than just scrolling through Facebook mindlessly which is a huge improvement on last week.

Here is how I found my tools from last week worked.

  • Bullet journal – By far the single most effective thing to get me focused. Using this has allowed me to think ahead for the week, understand what I want done. It helped me get organised, set my priorities.

  • 10-minute timer – Using the 10, or 30-minute timers worked very well to set the tone (if that’s the right word). It told my brain that all those little shiny things were not important until the timer went off. Then if I still wanted, I could look at Facebook, for 5 minutes, then back to it.

  • Freeter – Mostly this just helped me organise my work in one place, so I did not have to hop in and out of folders and potentially get distracted.

  • Focus mode on my phone – This works very well when I was struggling to stay focused, and while I did not use it all the time it helped remind me to stay on track if I was faffing and the 10-minute timer failed to rein me in.

  • Exercise – I did not believe this would help, really didn’t. But I started the Jo Wicks 7 day challenger 2020 on Youtube, its amazing. I feel more motivated, and motivation helps all the rest come together so much easier. I am aching like I fell down-stairs 100 times, but as long as I don’t move I feel great.

So, this last week I managed to do the following writing-related work –

  • Started the edit for Earth Bound, and made some good progress there. Finally settled on the Genre and as a result the direction of the revision.

  • I created the cover, well, I have created several covers, none of which I am 100% certain are right. But I learned a lot about Affinity Photo. (this is the shiny that has been distracting me all week.)

  • Miscellaneous tasks relating to writers’ group, and forum.

  • Blog hop Flash Fiction piece – This you will be seeing here at the end of the month, more to follow soon on this.

Next week I need to focus a little bit on prioritisation so I can focus more on the Earth Bound revision, and not the far lower priority, but shinny, Cover. Or maybe use it as a reward for me when I hit my count, or goal for the day.

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