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This week my life coach wants me to take a hard look at the excuses that are holding me back. She divides excuses into three categories:

  • Verbal: the excuses we actually say out loud when someone asks how the book or training is coming along.
  • Distractions: all those things we use to procrastinate.
  • Thoughts: the way our thoughts stand in our way.
I’m supposed to chose one category of excuse and attempt to eliminate it for the week. I immediately picked distractions, because the Internet is a HUGE one for me. I can plan to research one thing that takes me five minutes, and three hours later I look up and realize my evening–and my writing time–is gone.
Facebook is another one. Selling my stuff on Facebook auction sites definitely brings me closer to my goals, and getting rid of my possessions is a necessity. I have so much to sell before we move! But it doesn’t take that long to post an auction, answer any questions, and declare a winner. It certainly doesn’t require looking at what anyone else is selling. That kind of thing easily lures me into a trance.
I find these distractions have more power when the work ahead of me is difficult or unappealing, as my rewrites seem to be (or the two articles I need to write about steel. Yes, steel).
So far, I’m not having any luck. I’m determined to conquer this addiction to surfing the Net, but I have no idea where to start. Do any of you have this problem? And if so, how did you conquer it? Or are you still struggling?
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8 Comments

  1. Elle Rush

    I am hard-core distracted by the television. If it’s on, I might as well put away the laptop. I need to leave the room entirely. I’m still struggling but now that I have discovered a successful method (extreme as it is), it’s a little easier. There is always something I *could* watch but if I don’t know specifically what is on, it’s easier to stay away.

    Reply
  2. Story Teller

    I hear you, Elle! What is your extreme method…is it staying out of the room where the television is?

    I’ve taken to playing this video before I begin my writing time. It reminds me of the difference between people walking the talk and talking the walk. 😉

    Reply
  3. Michelle D. Argyle

    I’m happy to say I’m conquering it right now. I rarely go on Goodreads anymore, hardly ever visit Twitter, and I’ve pretty much stopped posting much of anything on FB. I get on there about once a day to look through the feed and that’s about it. I also don’t comment on blogs until weekends, usually. I’ll go through them each day in my reader to mark what I want to read later, but that’s all I’ll do during the week usually. It has really helped to take weekends off for reading and catching up online. Weekdays are now for writing.

    What got me here? A lot of anger I’m still harboring, little tantrums of deleting profiles and accounts, etc. I’m not even sure why I’m so angry, but at least it’s positive in some aspects.

    Reply
  4. Story Teller

    I hear you, Michelle. Sometimes a negative experience can actually help one stay away from Facebook and other online distractions. I know I’ve been so hurt by Facebook and the things I’ve seen on there sometimes, and I imagine Goodreads can be the same if you’re published.

    I hope I get to the place where the internet is working for me instead of against me, but it does take a ton of discipline.

    Reply
  5. evbishop

    I totally relate to your surfing addiction. I find it especially maddening because even while I’m wasting time, I’m not _enjoying_ the time. I discovered this fantastic little app, and although it makes some of my friends laugh (“Have you ever heard of good old-fashioned willpower, Ev?” ;)), it’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent on my writing life. You might like it too: http://macfreedom.com/

    Reply
  6. Story Teller

    Thanks, Ev. I may turn to that, but for now I’m trying to force myself to do this old-school.

    Reason being that if I can’t develop enough discipline to stay focused in this area of my life that is so important to me, what will happen in other areas of my life? It’s so important for me to be able to recognize my distractions, realize why they’re taking over, and defeat them old-school!

    My life coach says to ask ourselves “What could I do in this moment that would make me the most proud?”

    I have used a “timer” website that will count down from 90 minutes. During that time, I stay focused on my novel…no exceptions. It has helped, simple as it is.

    Are you going to SIWC this year? I’m planning to return.

    Reply
  7. evbishop

    >>>Reason being that if I can’t develop enough discipline to stay focused in this area of my life that is so important to me, what will happen in other areas of my life? It’s so important for me to be able to recognize my distractions, realize why they’re taking over, and defeat them old-school! <<<

    LOL, yes . . . But years ago I used Nicorette to help me quit smoking. For me, a little outside help really helps.

    I’m not sure about SiWC this year . . am totally hoping to though. Good to know you are! (Extra incentive for me. :D)

    Reply
  8. Story Teller

    You have to go this year! We haven’t seen each in far too long.

    Oh, I’m not against help, believe me. I rely on my writing group, my life coach, my muay thai coach, and my boyfriend far too much! But I know I need to develop more discipline.

    Reply

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