• Michael Linsin

3 Ways to Stay Focused While Writing

If blogging is a side hustle for you, as it is for most of us, it's critical to utilize proven methods to become ultra-efficient.


Otherwise, if left unchecked and to your own devices, writing - unique among almost all other pursuits - has a way of bogging you down. A 30-minutes writing session can turn into an hours-long slog if you don't attack it strategically.


You want to get down to work, focus with your entire self, and then finish quickly so you can get on with your life. You also want to do it in such a way that the work doesn't suffer, but instead, is better as a result.


Luckily, there are many effective strategies out there, which we'll be sure to cover in future articles. Today, however, I'd like to share three things you can do to make your writing time more efficient and effective.


1. Beware of Parkinson's Law.


Parkinson’s Law is the tendency to expand a task in complexity in relation to the time given for its completion. It’s the chief reason why we work harder and become more stressed than we ever need to.


It's the reason we have trouble focusing on the task at hand and instead sift through all the ideas and thoughts that flow unrelenting through our mind. We over-think and struggle to pull all the strands together.


2. Limit your time.


The answer to Parkinson's Law is to place strict limits on your work time. Before sitting down to write, estimate how long you think you need to complete the project, and then cut your time in half.


It sounds extreme, but this is what you must do to keep the tendency to make the task more complex at bay. This is what you must do to stay focused and slide easily into a flow state of production.


3. Try the Pomodoro Technique.


Created by an Italian software developer named Francesco Cirillo in the late 80s, the Pomodoro Technique is a time-limiting technique that doesn't require you to predict work times.


The way it works is to set a timer for 25-minutes - called a pomodoro - and then focus intently until the time is up. Take a five-minutes break to recharge and then begin the next pomodoro. After four pomodoros, take a 30-minute break.


The technique is proven to keep you fresh and motivated. It also represents the perfect amount of time to stay maximally focused. It provides just the right amount of urgency to knock out a lot of work in a short period of time.


Better Work, Faster


Limiting the time you're allowed to work has an extraordinary way of forcing you to rely on your own special genius.


It keeps your mind from second-guessing, ruminating over every decision, and searching for ways to make your writing perfect - which is a recipe for destruction. It frees you, opens you, and allows you to tap into the natural improvisational inspiration and ingenuity you have inside you.


The result is a better product. And a happier writer.


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