Being Creative and Dealing with Distractions: Interwebs

Last week, I talked about the giant distraction creatives have to deal with called Children. However, they are only one of the many distractions we have to deal with. The big one I have to deal with is the internet.

Easy access to the plethora of human knowledge and the trillions of cat videos. This is an immense distraction that keeps me from writing as much as I’d like.

I understand it is a problem, and I can stop anytime. I just don’t want to.

In all seriousness, here are five methods I use to mitigate my internet addiction.

Five Methods to Keep Distractions at Bay.

  1. Turn off the internet.
  2. Go to a coffee shop/ library.
  3. Keep track of internet time usage.
  4. Take away visual and use it for noise.
  5. Limit research.

Turn off the internet.

The easiest way to keep the distractions at bay is to turn them off. The internet is addicting, and it’s easy to want to do a straightforward thing, but get distracted by something on the internet. For those with no ability to limit themselves, turning it off is the best way to go.

For those that don’t know, at the bottom right of the computer is a simple internet button. Two clicks on that, and the internet is dead. For those that can’t control themselves, there is an ability to have your significant other enter a parental control password. Then not only is the internet off but then the creative must beg for the password.

Go to a coffee shop/ library.

One way to remove oneself from the distractions called the internet is to go down to the favorite coffee shop and sit there for a few hours. This is good if the internet is too accessible in the home. Coffee shop internet is never very good, being split between an untold number of different people. This is the perfect spot to get some work done.

This doesn’t mean to only go to a coffee shop, five dollars a day in coffee gets expensive. There are also libraries, which are good places to go to. There are also parks, malls, universities, etc that are all good places to go out to get work done.

Keep track of internet time usage.

For those with a good amount of will power, keeping track of internet usage time and turning it off when the set amount of time is up. I’m not this type of person. I can’t turn on and off the distraction. I don’t have enough will power.

But I know of a few people who can. They must have the focus of a God. It must be a great thing to be able not to get distracted by the internet. I assume its a learned skill but the amount of willpower needed sounds immense.

Take away visual and use it for noise.

One method is to let things play in the background. The idea is to turn on noise, music, commentary, etc. This is to train yourself to control the noise being played, especially for those that work in a noisy environment.  By playing something in the background, the idea is to have something interesting to keep the focus on the noise, but not enough to maximize the tab and watch the video.

This is the method I tend to do more than any of the others. I will listen to music, but I’ve also been listening to documentaries while I work on my writing. I use headphones and they block other distractions from keeping me from getting the work done.

Limit research.

One of the greatest issues is squirrels. This is when the creative stops working and to do some “quick” research. This starts with good intentions but quickly goes off the rails. The creative needs to look up one issue, and then they blink for a few minutes to discover hours have passed. They have been watching cat videos for hours.

I’ve been here, I look up one detail on space travel. I blink to discover I have been watching police chase videos. This is a bad thing for getting anything done. To keep from doing it, I limit my research by either writing notes to do the research later, or by keeping it to the topic I need to lookup.

This journey is not something I can do alone. It takes support from many people for it to become a reality. The easiest way is to visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. They are available in all countries and for free in Kindle Unlimited. I do have a tip jar set up at Ko-Fe, where you can buy me a coffee. Or you can also visit me on Facebook. Your help and support are much appreciated.