What are you looking at?

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Ha, caught you trolling the web. Don’t you have anything more important to do??

As writers we all struggle with procrastination and a million distractions. Why is it that writing doesn’t convey the same laser focus and importance as heart surgery — or at least, driving?

I take great comfort in the fact that the wonderful writer Neil Gaiman is trying to take a break from social media in order to accomplish more (if you enjoy fantasy at all or have any background in Native American folklore/origin myths, his American Gods is a must-read). On the other hand, this guy is singlehandedly raising the bar for all writers as he is a dervish of activity, albeit much does not appear to be actual writing.

ImageThoreau wasn’t distracted by kitten videos.

Rather than ramble on about the productivity lost to social media browsing (hey, we’re writers, we can justify it by saying inspiration comes from many sources!) I will simply offer the following links that contain many options for streamlining your work.

This one starts simple (open Facebook and other time wasters in a separate window) then provides explanations of and links to many useful tools, including GMail extensions that will save time by creating templates for emails (no need to retype the same info again and again).

More time-savers are in this post, including apps that allow you to maximize the impact of your Twitter posts by timing when they are published. When I have time I’m going to look more closely into Glyder (mentioned here), which promises to help with the appearance of your messages.

This successful writer offers several low-tech solutions, such as keeping a writing diary and managing your time by working 4 days a week, but I was most interested in the extreme tool suggested, called Write or Die. This app allows you to set a writing goal for yourself (time or word count) and holds you to it. Check it out!

I hope these links will help you be more productive. One writer I know well has a simple one: a separate computer that is not connected to the internet. But then there are the birds outside the window…

And if you’re not ready to go back to work yet, consider this list of famous writers’ productivity compared with the amount of sleep they got. It can be a Catch-22 situation, skipping sleep to make up for the work you haven’t completed as your mental acuity slips…

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