Friday, July 9, 2010

Grab Bag Friday: Freedom

Here's a question for you: how do you maintain productivity in a world filled to the brim with entertaining distractions?

I know myself. I know that when I sit down to write, I cannot read "just one" kidlit blog post before I start. Or do a "quick email check." Or play a round of Scramble "to clear my mind." Before you know it, I'm updating my Goodreads page and surfing for So You Think You Can Dance clips.

It's ridiculous, but I know for a fact that no matter how excited I am about a writing project, given the opportunity to stall, I will.

Now last November, I was stuck in a time-sucking vortex of my favorite blogs when I came across a post about unplugging at Upstart Crow, and a reader (God bless him) commented that he uses a program called Freedom. Freedom is a free program for Mac & PC that disables your internet for as long as you tell it to. Log on and type "90" into the little box and voila! 90 distraction-free minutes. The only way to get back online is to restart your computer. Which, as it turns out, is just enough of a deterrent for me. When I've spent a productive, clear-headed morning hitting my word-count goal, I want to kiss whoever invented this software.

Technically, there is another way to handle this problem. It's called will power. But for those of us who don't have it, there's Freedom


Shannon Morgan said...

I use will power, and I fail often. Breaking up my tasks into pieces and putting them on Google calendar so they're staring at me from my homepage works pretty well for keeping me on task. I do take frequent breaks, though, to read an article, etc. Sometimes I get my internet reading done at work (don't tell) so that when I get home nothing's luring me online.

Josephine Cameron said...

Breaking things into small manageable tasks helps me, too. It makes you feel like you accomplished something and then you can move onto the next item. And Google calendar is another brilliant piece of software.