This may seem painfully obvious, but quickly read through this short tip anyway, learn about a free resource that may prove useful. The tip?
Not reduce them… totally eliminate them. Want to write your book fast, that’s what you do.
Physical environmental distractions — phone calls, noise, co-worker chatter, blah blah — I can’t really help with. That’s totally on you. But really, you know how to deal with that on your own. (Hint: check out noise-cancelling headphones.)
Even distractions on your computing environment (the Internet!), I don’t think you need handholding to “fix” all those little Internet-fed attention-grabbers and seekers you’ve no doubt got going on.
What I’d like to zoom in on here, however, is something you probably haven’t considered can be a distraction for seriously focusing and writing faster: Your word processing software.
In short: Too many features and tools to play with. I suggest you do away with all of that. Write and finish your book’s first draft rapidly, then do all that “editing” and “checking” and “looking up” blah blah… after.
Point is, if a tool or feature is right there in your face and extremely easy to access, the temptation to break your focus and rhythm to use it may just be too strong. All those menus, buttons and icons… those don’t help either. Want to write fast? There’s really something to that old school approach of working with nothing but a blank sheet of paper.
If the software you’re using has some kind of “distraction-free” mode, use it. They typically take over your whole screen.
If it doesn’t have that kind of mode, or what they deliver doesn’t really give you the warm fuzzies, the good news is there are software tools and services available online — quite a bit of them — that aim to give you that distraction-free writing environment. Just Google distraction-free writing and try out what goodies pop up from your search.
Here’s one, the current tool I’ve been using, a free SAAS (software as a service) site and tool:.
Works great, and has just about everything I want with this kind of tool. It’s meager “interface” is practically invisible and out of the way unless I need it — just a very faint ghost on the upper-left corner of the screen, unless you hover over it to bring it to life. The site works just like any other tab on your browser, or you can have it take over your whole screen, which is what I recommend for fast, focused writing. That we can use this absolutely free — signups aren’t even required — well, I really can’t recommend this site enough.
At any rate, whatever tool you end up choosing to use, remember the whole point of this exercise: Eliminate distractions!
Having said that, let me distract you with some good stuff to read below…