If you’ve done any amount of writing, you know how much better it can be if it’s distraction free writing. If you’re anything like us, you’ve been unable to focus when writing at some point. Sometimes, physical things draw attention away, like a loud coworker or a cold office. At other times, mental interruptions, like a wandering mind, cause problems. Let’s talk through some of these distractions while writing so we can better answer the question “what is the meaning of distraction free?”
What is an Example of a Distraction?
A distraction is anything that directs your attention away from whatever it is you are trying to focus on. Some of the most common distraction examples for writing are:
This could be anything from an uncomfortable chair, to bad lighting, to being in an environment that’s too loud. Some of these have quick fixes, while others require more creative solutions. If you don’t already have one, creating a defined space for writing and making sure it has lots of creature comforts will go a long way toward staying focused.
Our phones and computers, with their endless notifications, often create more physical interruptions than anything else. These can be turned off during the writing process, but unfortunately, other people (or pets) in your environment don’t have such convenient off switches.
Sometimes our own heads create the biggest interruptions. Thinking about things other than work, or trying to multitask, can easily distract us. Even doing something for our writing assignment, like looking up a needed statistic or reading more background on the topic, can lead us down rabbit holes and derail our writing goals. Using the right technology, like Slice, to keep all your research handy can go a long way toward solving these problems.
The device you’re writing on can be its own source of distraction. Computers offer endless distractions that aren’t conducive to getting your work done. Checking emails, scrolling through social media, or convincing yourself to read just one more article for background research before you start writing are all hard to resist.
What Does Distraction Free Mean?
Distraction free writing is when you remove all (or as many as possible) of these things that are pulling your attention away from actually getting words on a page. Although it might not be possible to eliminate every single thing that distracts from writing, getting rid of the largest ones will make a big difference. Writing without distractions will make your writing faster and easier to finish, and it will almost certainly make the finished product better, too.
You can take this one step further if you think about flow as the ultimate in distraction free writing. Psychology Today defines flow as “a cognitive state where one is completely immersed in any activity. It involves intense focus, creative engagement, and the loss of awareness of time and self.” Removing interruptions to get to this state makes it easier to stay distraction free because you are so absorbed in the writing itself.
Getting in the Zone
This state of flow is also called being “in the zone.” Although it may seem circular, the faster you get here, the less you have to worry about reducing distractions because you naturally ignore them in this state. Here are some specific tips for reaching flow while writing:
- Practice! Doing the same thing over and over is how the brain gets better at a task. The more you write, the better your brain gets at writing—and the more likely it is to get you into flow.
- Have a routine and stick to a schedule. Practicing requires both! Adding writing time to your work day, scheduling it just like you would a meeting, makes it more likely to happen. Creating separate times to research a project can help keep you on track once you get started.
- Set your mind and body up for success. Enough sleep, food, and rest make all of us better at tasks. You’re more likely to get “in the zone” with your writing if you take care of yourself going in.
Ready to Slice Away Those Distractions?
Writing non-fiction, whether it’s a content marketing blog, an educational resource, or a scientific article, presents a particular challenge in avoiding writing distractions. The writing itself requires you to consult sources and gather additional materials, but searching for these things takes you out of the writing process. Slice solves these challenges by helping you collect sources, websites, notes, and facts into one workspace. Seeing them in one place solves the distraction problem in such a simple and intuitive way. If you’re ready to get in the zone faster and stay there longer, sign up for our 30-day free trial today.