Me too. I’d rather have writers block – I prefer the term writer’s clog – than be set upon by distractions when I’m trying to write, read, study, pray, or simply cogitate. Maybe ideate is a better word. You know, ponder the next few most fitting words and their best order.
I’m a big fan of distraction-free full screen plain text writing apps. My favorite, as I’ve said before, is WriteMonkey. It’s free and it’s awesome.
I notice that there’s no mention of trying to influence other people not to create unnecessary distractions. It’s highly unlikely to do any good. We all know that there are ways to engage – such as email – that merge with a person’s workflow instead of stopping it. But there are always things that seem for the moment to be too urgent to wait for the next email check. So it goes.
Don’t get me started on voicemail. Too late. If I had my druthers, we’d all stop using that neolithic timesuck tomorrow and never look back. … Oh, I suppose I can see where it’s still needed to get contact from people who are using a landline phone. But why anyone with a smartphone leaves a voice recording for another person with a smartphone is beyond me. But I have digressed.
The article’s suggestion not to listen to music you especially like isn’t a surprise to me. I usually don’t. Not only is the desire to listen closely a distraction in itself, but I find song lyrics influence what I’m doing, for better or worse. So I like to have white noise – nature sounds – playing in the background when I’m trying to concentrate.
Tonight I have the sounds of thunder and rain, which nature has all but forgotten here in southern California. I don’t think it has helped me write a very good blog post, but maybe it will bring us good luck otherwise.