A recent study came out comparing the quality of writing by people who were allowed to work uninterrupted vs. those where were interrupted every few minutes. It’s not surprising that those who were able to work without distractions did much better than those who were distracted.
I could have saved them a lot of money.
The majority of my writing time happens when there are small people in the house. Despite their best intentions and all my efforts to keep them entertained with projects and games, they still come to me every few minutes. Even when they don’t come to me I have to keep my ears open and listening for sounds of destruction or distress.
Needless to say, I’m a distracted writer. It is very rare when I have the house to myself, so rare in fact that it takes time to adjust. The silence is jarring. I continue to listen for problems to be solved, even though there is no one home. This time is vital to work through difficult scenes that require focus, but no matter how much it doesn’t make sense, part of me feels there is something wrong.
It gets worse. Even without the kids around there will always be email, Facebook, Pandora, and Pinterest just one click away. While I do turn notifications off, the temptation is always there, especially if I’m working on something that’s hard. A small break can easily turn into a dive into the rabbit hole of social media that can last anywhere between 5 minutes to the rest of the evening.
Is removing distractions a good idea? Yes.
Is it possible? Yes, but it’s tough.
Now let’s go see what’s on Facebook… 🙂