In this day and age it is harder than ever to stay focused on a single objective. You’ve got 17 different social media sites to check, selfies to take, angry birds to fling and tv shows to binge watch. How do you concentrate on the challenging task of writing when there are so many easier things you could be doing right now?
I’m probably not qualified to give this sort of advice because I should actually be working on my manuscript right now but instead I’m doing this. Oops.
But anyway, here are some things that are helping me to concentrate a little better.
The Pomodoro Technique
The idea of the Pomodoro Technique is to break down a task into more manageable 25 minute sections, with 5 minute breaks in between. After you’ve done four “pomodori” you take a longer break, 15-30 minutes. It is much less daunting to jump into writing when you know you only have to worry about it 25 minutes at a time, and it’s easier to resist the internet when you know you can check it guilt-free in just a little while. Any sort of timer will do, it doesn’t even have to be shaped like a tomato (which is where the name comes from). You can even get pomodoro apps for your phone!
Binaural beats are probably a bunch of new age hippie crap. They’re basically just weird frequencies that bounce back and forth in your headphones. But I do find listening to them helps me to concentrate. It’s sort of like a slightly more dynamic white noise that blocks out the distractions around you. If you find yourself getting distracted by music when you write but you also want to block out the TV in the other room, try giving this a go. There are plenty of tracks on Youtube and Spotify that you can listen to for free.
Video Game Soundtracks
Binaural beats are helpful if you want to keep your mind free of clutter, but what if you want something a bit more interesting to listen to? Video Game soundtracks are great because the music is designed to invoke mood and atmosphere without distracting from the action in the game. Some of my favourites include Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, Skyrim, and the Alice games. It really just depends on which game best compliments what you’re writing at the time. Here are some to get you started: