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How not to use your laptop…

The past few days, I’ve been sliding in productivity — not a lot, but enough to measure.  In my publishing business, the numbers are stagnating, and it’s no coincidence that I haven’t felt as focused on it.  This morning, I resolve to find the culprit, and I did: my laptop.

The device isn’t evil; I just haven’t been using it properly.

The problem is never “time management,” but attention management.

Usually, I make sure to leave my text or Scrivener file open in full screen mode.  When I come back to the laptop, I will get back into the flow of whatever I was working on.  But the last few days, I’ve been leaving my web browser up.  Not good!  I find myself up to the usual mischief of checking multiple email accounts, seeing what’s new on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

But worse, my thoughts of “how am I going to tune up my business today?” get derailed, and I find myself completely forgetting my purpose.  It’s no surprise that my results reflect the lack of focus.  Obviously, this will work for writing, too, especially if you’re hitting the wall during NaNoWriMo.  Is it that you’re truly stuck, or is it that you’re losing focus?

If you want to make better progress on your book or story, try leaving your project file up and closing your web browser.  It seems stupidly obvious, but are you doing it?

2 thoughts on “How not to use your laptop…

  1. it’s simple, but it works. I log out of Twitter, so i have to log back in, which quite often is all the reminder i need that i’m not supposed to be there. I also make sure Word is the first window – it’s opened first, then Excel to keep track of my spreadsheets. If i open a browser, it’s after the others (in the strip along the bottom of the screen), to remind me of its lack of importance to my goals.

  2. The best part of this method is that it forces you to admit responsibility. There’s nothing to fall back on — you either have the self control to use it, or you don’t.

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