Clearing space for thinking and writing

 

Here are some thoughts

  1. Switch off/ log out/ never use browser-based e-mail – the tabs are lurking to catch you
  2. Switch off notifications, disable e-mail polling etc on all mobile devices – phones and tablets. Set e-mail clients only to gather e-mail when you want (you are weak but will at least be in control)
  3. Set your main e-mail client (in my case on a Mac PowerBook gathering 11 mailboxes worth) to only collect e-mail once per hour – each hour use GTD techniques to respond to e-mail – if you can do it in less than 2 minutes then deal with it, if not schedule a time to deal with it. Get back to writing as soon as you can.
  4. Always have your phone on silent – when a call comes in – have a quick look – be ruthless and push it to voicemail. If it’s a client, friend or otherwise important – take the call; deal with it quickly. You will return to writing with more energy. Distinguish between the important and the urgent.
  5. For writing – use Scrivener – you can chunk up the work to allow for essential interruptions
  6. Go on long train journeys – buy cheap first class tickets in a quiet coach (often cheaper than standard if bought in advance) and write, write, write. They will bring you tea etc. This is good.

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