3 Ways to Improve Your Concentration When Writing

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One of the many challenges that bloggers face is producing content on a consistent basis. To some, writing blog posts seem to come easy and natural. The truth is that all of us struggle at times and lack inspiration. Yet, content is king if you want to be a blogger and you have to be able to produce original, helpful content on a regular basis. With 3000+ total articles under my belt, let me share with you some tips that have really helped me along the way.

1. Set a block of time when writing. This was really a big help to me because I can have the tendency to get lost a bit in my work. if you can learn to set “hard deadlines” on yourself you will be able to produce content at a higher level. I love to use a time management tool called the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, it helps me to work in spurts of energy with breaks in between. In only does them help with my focus, but it also helps with completing my writing assignments.

I use a desktop software called The Action Machine to set my writing agenda for the day and assign “blocks of time” for each task. For example, I try to set a 30 minute window for me to write a 400+ word blog post that I will publish on one of my blogs. The Action Machine is fun and easy to use and every night before I go to bed I set my agenda using this tool. A simpler way is to get a stopwatch or egg timer and set it for 30 minutes. Focus only on writing and do not allow yourself to get distracted by any other internal or external distractions. Just focus on writing.

2. Clear out all other distractions. This is super important for those that work online. It is so easy to have 10-15 internet browser tabs open all at once. We think that multi-tasking is the way to be proficient. I have found the opposite to be true. Multi-tasking drains me and stops me from “getting in the flow.” Set a piece of paper near you and every time you think of something else to do, just write it down and get to it later. Stay focused on the task at hand. Another way I write without getting distracted is I use a free program called “Write Space.” If you use Google Chrome you can add it as an extension to your browser. It basically turns my computer screen into a black screen with white lettering. It is a minimalist word editor. It can be expanded full screen so that all you see are white words on a black screen. Place some soft music and write until you are done.

3. Write the first draft without edits. This is an important skill to master. While correct grammar and spelling are important to me, I am not turning it a research paper for a final grade. There is a delicate balance here that is important. Some bloggers want their product to be such high quality that they labor on one blog post for way too long. If you are worried about making mistakes or offending someone, then maybe blogging is not for you. If someone points out a mistake, thanks them and fix the problem, but keeping creating! Even if you get your blog post written and think you want to present it in a different way, save it for a different post. Publish what you have and keep taking action! I hope these tips help you in producing more content for your blog.

If you want a more detailed strategy on writing content. Both Bob Lotich and I will be sharing all of our tips and strategies for writing keyword-rich content this Thursday night. The webinar series started last week, but we have decided to leave the doors open for a little while longer. You can receive all of the replay links and downloads from last week, and join us live this week. Also, we have 30+ bloggers in our private Facebook group sharing all of their tips and insights on blogging as well. You get free access to this blogging community with your purchase. Go here for more information: Blogging Your Passion – The Webinar Series.


Question: What tips or techniques do you use to focus better on your work?

6 thoughts on “3 Ways to Improve Your Concentration When Writing”

  1. Jonathan,

    I have an idea bank (moleskine notebook) and I still have lots and lots of topics that I want to write about in my blog.

    The problem is I got a lot of distractions when writing. I can easily get lost on the first paragraph.

    These tips are awesome!

    I just started using the “Write Space” and I am beginning to really like it.

    1. Thanks, Marlon. I share many more productivity tips at http://SimpleLifeHabits.com Also, if you want to check out something really cool try the “Stay Focused” web app for Google Chrome. Pure awesomeness….. I can make an “allowed sites” list, set it for a certain number of hours and anytime I try to access a site not on that list it blocks the site and says “Shouldn’t you be working?” I love it….

  2. The “stay focused” app sounds awesome! I’m definitely prone to the keeping-8-10-tabs-open-while-blogging writing style, and it’s not very productive. Thanks for the advice on focusing and writing!

  3. Your points about writing in focused blocks with no distractions are great. I find that any time you are trying to get something out the door not only should you minimize distractions, you also need to resist urges. We are so wired these days to check email, Facebook, twitter, and many other sites. It is actually a physical urge we get. These urges make it hard to stay on track. For nagging todo items, write them done, for urges to check something, breath through it, slow deep breaths till the urge passes. Once your session is done, reward yourself by s ranching the itch and check what was bugging you earlier. You are in control, you just need to make conscious decisions when those urges to wander come. I blog about these things at http://focusyourmind.org as I believe an improved ability to concentrate can make everyone’s life significantly better.

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