Struggling to write…

Ever have one of those days where organizing your office, washing dishes, and folding laundry all seem more appealing than sitting down to write? I often struggle to start writing, not because those other projects really need my attention at that very moment. Rather, starting to write means trying to commit the ideas swirling in my head to screen or paper – an act that requires a leap of faith. (Probably more than one!)

To make that leap less intimidating, I frequently use focus booster, a free download. Focus booster uses the Pomodoro Technique to manage time on tasks. Essentially, it provides a digital timer to encourage you to stay on task for a set amount of time before taking a short break. The timer is adjustable, but the default time is 25 minutes on task, followed by a 5 minute break.

I typically use the default settings and power through 25 minutes of writing before taking a break. On days when I can set aside extended time to write, I often am tempted to skip the breaks as I get deeper into a project. Yet the reminder to get up and stretch my legs improves the quality of my work when I return to my writing task. I work through a complex concept in my head while I’m sorting papers or I simply see a passage with fresh eyes when I return from a break and realize what needs revised.

Equally as important, focus booster reminds me to stay focused on one task, rather than trying to multi-task, leading to higher quality products for each discrete task.

[Like the concept, but not focus booster specifically? Here’s a listing of similar applications.]