Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuning out Distractions

Sometimes, life is like being on the subway. You're surrounded by people and noise, advertisements, performers--it can be impossible to focus. There are the far few who don't feel the same way I do, but personally, the subway is the most hectic place for me to be.

How do you tune out the distractions? How do you focus?

I have my favorite place to write in the house, but unfortunately it's not exactly in a quiet space. I sit on the couch right in front of the TV, and my twelve-year-old brother is always either playing video games or watching a show. When he's playing games I'm usually not too interested, but even if it's the worst show on earth I'll find myself watching out of the corner of my eyes, accomplishing nothing on my project. Luckily this past week he's been away at camp, and I've been able to really get some good work done.

But I've finally succumbed to the fact that if I want to focus, I have to relocate, no matter how much I like this brown leather couch. But even when I relocate, there's another problem: minesweeper. I already talked about this in my other post, but I'll find myself pulling it up when I get stuck for more than a moment, playing mindlessly. If I'm not playing minesweeper, I'm checking facebook, my e mail, twitter, and my blog (ironically, writing this fits into this category).

So I've made a rule for myself: I can't check the internet until I get to the end of the scene I'm working on. Sticking to that rule helps me to at least get something done during the day, and not just waste it away online.

Another thing that helps me is music. Not the kind of music I usually listen to, mind. I have a carefully manufactured playlist on that is all instrumental--as my mom says, it sounds like spa music. It relaxes me and helps me focus, even if my sister hates it.

So that's what I do. What do you do when you find yourself being unproductive?



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