September 19, 2011

My focus mode

While I can struggle to get started writing stuff, no matter if it is a book, an article, or code, I am extremely focused when I actually write. I love fullscreen when it makes sense, otherwise I just keep one app open (on the space I’m in) to keep me focused. Distractions are a thing of evil, so no Twitter apps open, no alerts, no inbox folders on the desktop that might draw my attention.

I don’t stop there.

My iPhone is set to silent mode, face down so that I won’t see any notifications. I usually play loud music, that always helps me relax and perform better. Ideally I’ll blast it from decent speakers, but when there are other people around I rely on high quality headphones.

Finally, before starting I decide if there’s a time limit to what I’m doing. Should I write for two hours, or just as long as it takes? I’ve found that I work differently depending on the limitations I’ve set, and that have taught me to produce freelance articles at a pretty high pace over the years (I do this for a living after all). When I’m writing books, I usually try to care less of time and focus more on goals, as in get this or that chapter done, or write a set amount of words. Either way, some sort of limit is needed, otherwise you might go too far and be forced to stop writing with a negative, sometimes frustrated, feeling and that makes it harder to pick up the project again later.

Always stop writing on a positive note. Like this.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere.