4 Tips to Help you Avoid Social Media Distractions (especially when trying to write a book!)
If like me you’re trying to write a book or complete a project, it’s sometimes doubly hard to do so without the inclusion of Youtube videos of cats dressed in romper suits or re- tweeting on the phone whilst staring at a blank laptop screen. If this sounds like you -an intervention is needed. As a psychotherapist, I’m not about to recommend therapy, but I do have a list of practical tips to help you banish those distractions.
1) Try a detox
Start small. How about twenty four hours without Facebook, et al? Then a couple of days and then maybe a week? I once deactivated Facebook for a whole month and got loads done- after I was able to convince myself that some urgent catastrophe had not befallen the world without me knowing about it!
2) Deactivate apps
Some apps like Hangouts and Skype may just need to be deactivated temporarily whilst your addiction phase is on High. When I’m about to write a book ,my procrastination levels are on full blast. I just HAVE to sweep the floor and check for dust behind the picture frames. I just HAVE to check who’s online. I just HAVE to re-tweet that funny meme. STEP AWAY FROM THE DEVICE NOW! Or, just de-activate the offending apps temporarily and for a set time each day. Media blockers like ‘Self Control,’ for Mac. Or ‘Freedom’ for PC are a couple that come to mind, with a more extensive list available here. I wont embarrass myself by trying to get all technical but as far as I know, when these apps are in force you’ll be unable to scroll though for example, Facebook for the time you have specified. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m tempted…
3) Turn your phone OFF
Yes, an oldie but a goodie. Every time I began a section of writing or editing for my latest novel Orphan Sisters I either switched the phone off altogether or turned the volume to zero. It’s also a good idea to place the phone as far away from eye level as possible. Perhaps shut it in the bathroom or in a shed! This worked for me, but only as a temporary measure because as soon as I took a break… I was straight back to that phone to look at a fresh batch of ‘puppies on a swing’ videos!
4) Activate the DnD sign
Depending on where you write, it may be a good idea to place a physical ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door or simply be verbal about it by saying, ‘Do not disturb me for the next hour! Go away!’ Good luck with that one if you have little ones or an overly attentive dog stuck to your keyboard. But it’s a start.