It is completely normal to struggle with concentration once in a while when writing. Everyone has such moments, whether you are a blogger, a student, or a fiction author.
This problem is especially prevalent among students dealing with academic assignments. There are several reasons as to why: curriculum overload, lack of confidence or motivation, stress, or procrastination. Many students have trouble meeting scholarly demands and require assistance. This is where professional paper help by WritePaper comes in handy. This platform offers excellent advice on academic writing as well as editing, proofreading, and writing services.
Partnering with experts helps not only to save time and be confident in the perfect result. It is also a learning opportunity to develop one’s skills. And if someone is worried about meeting a deadline, it is also a great solution.
Writing is a skill that, like any other one, can be trained. It all starts with the ability to focus on the task. If you are battling with something, these tips will help you out.
You need to have a comfortable workspace where you can limit all distractions. Ideally, it is a desk with enough light and all the necessary tools (laptop, notebook, pens, etc.).
It needs to be separate from other spaces. If you try to work in bed, it is too easy to fall asleep or take too many naps.
Also, designating an area only to work will train the brain to go in a focused mode easier and faster. Finally, if you share a living space with others, establish rules on not to disturb you while you are there.
Turn Distractions Off
If you are easily distracted by any sounds and noises, turn everything off – from TV to smartphone notifications. If it is not possible (for example, you have a roommate that needs to watch a show now), use sound-blocking headphones.
Some people find it better to write while listening to relaxing music. One may try it, but choose the tunes without lyrics.
Set Phone Aside
A smartphone is one of the main enemies when it comes to focusing on the task. Set it aside, turn the volume off, or even shut it down.
Almost anything there is not urgent, so there is no need to waste your time on it.
Here is a popular scenario. A person sits to write but suddenly remembers that something is not done in the other room. Or they need to go and fill in the grocery list because otherwise, they’ll forget to buy milk.
Every time you get up to do something else, you are procrastinating on the main assignment. Make it a rule to not stand up unless it is completely necessary (for example, to use the restroom). Have a notebook ready in case you remember something to do and put it there – you won’t forget to do it afterward.
Your mind will probably still wander around; just recognize these thoughts and immediately return to work. Do not be too harsh on yourself; it is not going to help.
Every person works differently. Some are more productive in the morning, others prefer evenings. Writing for more than 4-6 hours in one sitting is not effective as you are getting tired.
The solution is to establish a schedule and routine for yourself. For instance:
- Choose the time you are most productive;
- Set hours specifically for writing;
- Do not multitask – it is not effective and only decreases cognitive functions;
- Do not try to write one time a week but for 12 hours; better separate it into several shorter sessions in a week.
Do one thing at a time. It is going to be faster and easier to focus on.
Set Achievable Goals
It is much easier to procrastinate when you do not have a clear goal. When you set a specific goal, you have a clear objective and deadline as well.
Before you get to work, decide on that. It can be something like “writing 1000 words today” or “finding the sources.” Make sure it is realistic and can be done in the established period.
Do Not Edit
Editing and writing are two different tasks. The worst thing one can do is start editing at the same time as they are typing. It ruins the creative flow. The same goes for criticizing your work and progress.
When you set up to type, do it without critique or paying attention to mistakes. You’ll edit it later, trust us: it will be more efficient.
TK stands for “to come” and is generally used in publishing. It is a useful hack when you need something to clarify or research some information. Instead of doing it immediately, you can put TK in the text and continue. This way, you’ll stay in the writing flow and won’t get distracted by other things.
After you are done, you simply go back and check it. For example, a student working on an essay forgets the date of an event. They can simply put “happened in TK” and come back to fill it in later.
This might not work for everyone, but it is worth trying. Set a timer for a session when you are not allowed to do anything except write.
It can be for 5 minutes or 15 minutes. The chances are you are going to enter the flow and won’t stop even after the timer goes off.
And even if it doesn’t happen, you can take a 5-minute break and set a new one. Again, it helps to establish discipline.
Breaks are essential to recharge and stay focused. It is better to take 15 minutes off after one hour of work. One can go for a walk, have a cup of tea, or eat a snack. During this time, do not come back to the paper. Try to stay off the screens and give your brain some rest.
Another approach is to set a word count limit until the break. For instance, before you can take a rest, you need to finish 500 words. It will keep one motivated to do it faster.
Treats and Punishments
Another way to motivate yourself to concentrate is to create a reward and punishment system.
For every achievement, one needs to praise themselves. Did you finish your goal today? Have a snack or treat yourself to a movie. Managed to meet the word count earlier? Take a longer break or play your favorite game. Whatever brings you joy.
On the contrary, if you didn’t meet the goals for the session, there might be a punishment. For example, every hour of procrastination results in minus one hour of fun on the weekend. Or, if you get distracted for 10 minutes, you have to do 10 pushups.
The trick here is, of course, to follow these rules. For many people, rewards are easier to commit to than punishments. So choose what works for you.
It is always easy to focus on something you enjoy. So the secret is to cut down negative thoughts related to writing and things that might discourage you.
Create a routine and workspace that makes you comfortable and productive. Eliminate distractions, avoid editing to not ruin the flow, and do not forget to take breaks.