Dealing with Distractions

Two screens enhance my data intake. I finally jumped over to two monitors last year. A lot of folks I know use to, and I had long wanted to (especially when wishing to reference electronic works while writing, so I wouldn’t have to CTRL+TAB all the time), but part of me was hesitant. You see, I already take in a lot of information on a daily basis, and I didn’t know how I’d deal with the temptation (while another part of me didn’t want to deal with upgrading my graphics card to support two monitors). My new computer system sorted out the second obstacle quite handily, so it fell upon me to deal with my own distractions.

Chiefly, when I’m just writing, I have Twitter running on the second monitor, and I can glance over from time to time to see if there’s anything of interest, while I read more closely when I just take a break. Surprise, surprise, it’s less time consuming just having it there, then it does for me to do the single-screen shuffle.

My main screen is generally divided into two halves. On the left half, I’ll have Safari open if I’m doing research (along with a half million tabs) and the right half is where the words get placed, and the ideas get formed. The left half of the screen lets me gather ideas, inspirations, and the factoids I mangle, mutilate, and reform through the grey matter before throwing on the right half. If I’m not doing the idea gathering, a lot of times, I’ll have relevant sections of the same document on the left side of the screen, while I throw words on the right. At present, I have the questions and matrixes for a¬†tremulus¬†supplement on the left as I sort through the specifics on the right. This works for me, and I’m not all distracted.

In fact, I plan my distractions. When I take a break–and I strive to take regular breaks to get up and stretch hydrate and take care of my mortal coil, I allow myself a few minutes to wander about Facebook or Twitter or trip through the internet, often exploring some interesting bits of information that may not be particularly relevant to my work, but serve to feed my mind and nourish my soul. Treating myself in this way serves to stimulate ideas and to make the day flow more fluidly and enjoyably. And my productivity is all the better for it.

I enjoy what I do. I’m quite blessed, in fact, getting to do what I do, and I’m thankful for it, and for you.

Today’s takeaway is to apply discipline to your distractions. Allow yourself some time to wander around and don’t beat yourself up for something you enjoy doing. Just don’t let it overwhelm you. Everything in moderation.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!


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