As I type this, I have about five drafts on this blog alone that need to be completed. I have content readily available, yet it is the motivation that I lack. In fact, I typed the first two sentences of the post, saved the draft, and told myself I’d come back to it later. Well, it’s been about two weeks now and I’m just now sitting down to finish it off.
Shut Down Your Distractions
Stop checking your email every seven minutes. Put up an away message on your instant messaging clients while you’re doing work. Physically remove your cellphone from the room. Do whatever it takes to remove yourself from things that will distract you. With no distractions, there’s nothing left to do but work.
LeechBlock is a Firefox plugin that stops you from visiting certain sites at specific times of the day. If I didn’t have LeechBlock installed, I’d never get any work done. I have it set to block the sites below from 9AM to 6PM. Doing so allows me to work a full-time shift without interruption.
Sites I currently block:
- Digg, Reddit
- YouTube, Revver, Break
- Digital Point, 4815162342
- Twitter, Facebook
- Netvibes, Wikipedia
Work in a Quiet Environment
How can you possibly work if you can’t think? Shut off the TV while you work. I don’t care if the Price is Right is on or Judge Judy is about to lay the smack-down; you don’t need to see it if you’re supposed to be doing work.
Also, try listening lyric-less music. Classical music has been shown to increase productivity and concentration. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as performed by the London Symphony Orchestra works surprisingly well for me. Try it and you’ll be surprised at the results.
Write the Post Out by Hand
This is one approach I hardly use, but it is, by far, the most effective method of completing a post without any distractions. Grab a few pieces of paper, a pen, and go outside. The novelty of getting away from the keyboard and writing on a pad never wears thin.
When I have a post that I really, really don’t want to write, I always resort to rewarding myself. I’ll work for an allotted amount of time or type a certain number of words before I can take a break. It works, but at the same time it feels like a punishment.
What methods do you use to finish work you just don’t want to do?