We moved to Colorado to escape the rush, rush of living in a large urban metropolis. We wanted quiet so I could write more. My husband wanted to be able work on his master’s degree.
We found that quiet in our little town of 377.
So why hasn’t my productivity increased?
Because urban living wasn’t what was eating my writing time.
In this fascinating article “A Call to Disarm Technology & Hype (And Boost Your Writing Productivity)”, the blog writer, L.L. Barkat, suggests the internet and other technology keep us on an “insanely high alert” that ultimately kills our productivity.
Barkat believes “when you let yourself get carried away by the high-alert cycle and give in to its constant interruptions, you lose 10 IQ points in each interruption moment (“the equivalent of not sleeping for thirty-six hours—or double the impact of smoking marijuana”), and it takes you about twenty-five minutes to fully return to your original project.”
All I can say is he’s describing me.
Every notice of new posts from FB, Goodreads, or Twitter and computer alert to new email draws my attention. I end up attending to everything and accomplish nothing. I can’t seem to stop the innate sense that I must know what’s going on!
I’ve come up with three ways to “commit to stopping the hype” as Barkat suggests:
When I start to write, I turn off my cell phone, no email, no social media, no internet cruising. Cold turkey! Just my desktop that has no internet hook up and me alone in my office.
Peace and quiet and the words flow.
Curtail Social Media
I’m not saying I abandon social media. I’m saying I control social media. Social media is not controlling me.
Following Frances Caballo’s advice on how to eliminate the unintentional hours of wasted time on social media. I’ve set a timer, limiting my social media time. I now use Tweetdeck and HootSuite to schedule tweets and updates. I plan for specific times to socialize via social media like waiting at doctor’s offices, and I routinely analyze how effective social media is for my platform building.
What’s not working, I eliminate. Take that social media!
Clock writing time
I’ve developed a spreadsheet to keep track of my writing hours. Now, just like a server at McDonald’s, I clock in and out.
The first week was a real shocker. Too many days with no clock-ins. If I worked at Mickey D’s, I’d be fired.
Now it’s BICW…Butt In Chair Writing. Every day. No matter what. I clock a minimum of three hours per day.
Amazing how my productivity has improved.
You may or may not agree with Barkat’s premise, but I believe using my three C’s can increase your writing productivity.
YOUR TURN: Has technology adversely affected your writing productivity?
I totally agree with everything you’re saying here, Judythe. I have always logged my writing activity — at least for the past dozen years, and my production is less than half what it was 12 years ago. Too much distraction via the internet. I’ve gotta get a better handle on this, even though I’m a pretty disciplined person.
Thanks so much for stopping by and confirming what I suspected about writer’s productivity. We’re just going to have to be more disciplined. You better be. I love your books! Keep ’em coming.
Yup, the phone for emergency calls is a necessity that is hard to overcome. With the caller ID, I simply don’t answer if it’s not an emergency. Then I return the call when I’m ready. You’re too young to remember, but in the dark ages, phones weren’t smart, were attached to the wall w/o answer machines! If you wanted to talk to someone you called until you got them or went to see them face to face! Thanks for stopping by.
Such great advice here! I absolutely get sucked into the social media mayhem. I love your clocking in tip. When I’m actively writing new words, as in not editing or plotting, I write on an alphasmart neo. No internet connection, small window display, just keeps me looking down and typing. I do have to keep my phone handy in case a child has an emergency and with smartphones also being a social media hub, it’s an issue!!