The Easiest Way to Reset Your Focus and Write More

Your environment is everything.


Whether you know it or not, your writing environment has more influence over your productivity than you might think.

If you’re stuck, you might need to make a change. And fast.

I work on deadlines. My routine got a little shaken up yesterday morning, so I didn’t get to my work until far too late in the day. By that point, I was already starting to wind down. My Netflix tab was speaking to me. But I just needed to focus, just for one more hour, before I closed everything out for the day.

I tried everything. I walked around, I drank coffee (not recommended at 7pm). Nothing worked. It was getting later. I still had writing to do, and I couldn’t wait any longer.

So I did the last thing I could think of to try and hit the reset button.

I moved my desk.

Not far – my bedroom/office is only so many square feet. Everything is a mess right now and it might not stay this way for very long. But the moment my perspective changed – literally – so did my focus.

I was finally able to focus on what needed to get done. Did I expect it to work that way? Not really; honestly, I was mostly just procrastinating. I figured it would at least give me 10 minutes or so of not staring at a screen while I took everything off my desk top and dragged the entire thing across the floor. The results were better than I expected.

This might not work every time you need a quick reset. You’re not going to move your desk or switch out your chair each time you sit down to write something (though, I suppose, you technically could). But sometimes, you’re desperate. And you need a quick fix. A temporary fix, even.

When you need to refocus, make an easy, quick change to your environment. Get up from one table at your local coffee shop and move to another. Move from the front porch to the back. Switch from your laptop to your desktop or from your desktop to your tablet. For some, this might be distracting and counter-productive. But for others, it might be just the right thing to click the brain back into hyper-focus mode for another hour or so.

Try it. Just … don’t almost break your foot in the process. OK? OK.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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