Getting Into the Zone

I work at something other than writing to pay the bills, and I have three children, two still at home. Too often the effort that goes into everyday life leaves one susceptible to the distractions of the Internet and TV. Partaking of those two forms of ‘entertainment’ can be energy draining rather than renewing. To combat the time suck associated with mindless relaxation (sometimes falsely called re-energizing) I have adopted a few strict rules.

During the week:

  1. Do not watch the evening news while preparing dinner/cleaning/doing laundry or whatever. Turn on some music instead. Use a genre or playlist that suits the writing intended for the evening. Let the mood seep into the subconscious and the day melt away.
  2. Save the Internet (Twitter, G+, Ello, etc.) for AFTER the writing is completed.
  3. Exercise. Even if only for 20 minutes. If walking on a treadmill, read something.
  4. Change clothes, but do not put on PJs. We’re not getting ready for bed yet no matter how comfortable they might be, there is still work to be done.
  5. Write.
  6. Read.
  7. Sleep.

Weekends

  1. Do not listen to the morning news while making coffee. Read.
  2. Again, save the Internet activities for after the writing is done.
  3. Write.
  4. Read.
  5. Watch a Movie (and study the characters and structure)
  6. Sleep.

Usually somewhere between weekend numbers three and four life intervenes with chores, kids activities, etc. Still, by sticking to these rules I have been able to quickly slip into that precious productive zone where real writing occurs. It’s the zone that builds word count with words that matter. Finding that zone quickly is critical for productivity. These are not rules for everyone, they just make me more productive.

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