Heidi, here. When I got up today, I knew I needed to write my blog and work on my manuscript for the impending ACFW Conference. I made myself some toast, poured myself some chocolate milk, and sat down at my desk to get to work.Twelve hours later, I’m finally writing.
What happened? Well, first of all I checked my email. I perused the Living Social and Groupon deals, checked on my ACFW Conference registration and hotel reservations, and spent a few minutes drooling over some delicious looking recipes. Then, one email announced that someone had tagged me on Facebook, so of course I had to check in to see who tagged me, and why.
The next thing I knew, it was lunchtime.
After lunch, I had the beginnings of a migraine headache, so I stretched out on my and took a quick nap. When I returned to my desk an hour later, I opened up my home page (Yahoo) and immediately saw a news story I could not resist. That led to several more links to intriguing articles I was compelled to read. Then I rechecked my email, and this time I found an announcement that someone had “repinned” one of my “pins” and my curiosity got the best of me.
Don’t get me wrong—I love Pinterest. Probably a little too much. But it is a black hole that tends to suck me into its light-less vacuum where time ceases to exist. Although I only meant to check out a couple of “quick pins,” suddenly it was time to pull myself together and get to our midweek evening church service.
And that is how I ended up here, writing my blog at almost midnight.
Let's face it: Email, Facebook, and Pinterest are thieves. They steal an amazing amount of time, and we don’t even realize it. If I added up the time I spent at my computer today, then multiplied it by seven days a week, I think I might cry at the number of minutes I will never get back.
But how do I fix it? Well, I f I had a shred of self-control, I would simply limit my time online; however, I am quite obviously lacking that shred. Unfortunately, I often feel like Dug, the dog on Up who is easily—“squirrel!!”—
Distracted. I cannot resist the gorgeous vacation destinations, juicy gossip, delicious looking desserts, and clever ideas that fill the Internet and steal my time. It is possible I may need to take more drastic measures.
A quick (yes, I promise it was quick) Google search turned up some great options for avoiding the distractions of the Internet. I think they all sound pretty cool, but in an effort to finish this blog post before sunrise, I skimmed the info BRIEFLY.
The first is an article from Publisher’s Weekly subtitled, “How Authors Stay Offline” and includes the musings of 27 authors on avoiding the siren call of the Internet.
A blogpost at Fiction Matters lists several options for removing all distractions that would leave me with a simple black screen on which to type. It actually kind of reminds me of my first computer, a 1984 Apple IIc. I wrote my very first "novel"—a mystery—on that beast!
Finally, if those don’t work and it turns out I need more serious consequences for straying from my writing goals, Write or Die offers maximum motivation. Their tagline is “Putting the PROD in productivity.”
Or, I can just listen to my 17-year-old son, who just said, “Mom, it’s called ‘disabling your WiFi.’ I can totally do that for you.”
Your turn: Do you struggle to avoid the pitfalls of Internet distractions? Do you have an awesome way to keep on track?