My work patterns and moods vary quite a lot, and I’m still searching for a perfect blogging rhythm, one that allows me to get more work done, with greater time efficiency, whilst dealing effectively with distractions and unforeseen obstacles and challenges.
After having spent most of my working life in an office – or at least around people – it’s quite a challenge in self-discipline to really get on with work, and to be productive.
I generally try to do my most creative and original writing early in the day, and sometimes later in the evening (though that’s often out of necessity than choice) because I find I work best at those times and handle distractions better (of which there are generally less, as most people in my time zone tend not to work out of hours, or, if they do, they don’t disturb me on IM or Skype)
I find early afternoons quite difficult, so I usually try to put ‘aggregate’ or ’roundup’ style posts in there (I have to do at least two of these kinds of posts each day). They tend to require less creativity (though if I have any wit going at the time, I’ll stick it in) and are more suited to the times I’d rather down tools, but can’t.
It’s a killer when I’m distracted, either by a legitimate interruption (an important email, phone call, or online conversation) or one that comes from curiosity (“what is that going on in the street?”)
That leads me on to focusing (and blocking) techniques, and they vary depending what mood I’m in.
When my environment is quiet, I often enjoy working in silence. When there’s bustle around that I’d rather avoid, I find that I can work well with music, particularly through headphones. Having the TV or radio on works sometimes, but it can be very distracting as I’m bound to hear something interesting and stop working.
Sometimes I listen to a CD that is supposed to enhance concentration and creativity, and can be used whilst working. I’m not sure how much of it works because of the audio content, how much is ‘mind over matter’, and how much because, listening through headphones, I can’t hear anything else.
You’d think after thirty-something years, I would have worked out how my body works best, at what times, and in what environment, but I’m still discovering new ways of being more productive. It’s a shame it doesn’t work all the time, though. At the end of some days I’m still feeling alert, creative, and like I’ve achieved a great deal. Other days, I wonder where the time went, and why my head hurts!
What do you surround yourself with to make your blogging more productive, and how do you beat the distractions?