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How do you use computer time to write, and do other productive things, without getting all distracted?


Professional Watermelon Farmer
This would seem to be pretty simple, but after resolving to spend at least one hour per day writing and revising furry fiction, I've found the biggest stumbling block is that when I'm on the computer, typing away, I get distracted by that time-wasting thing known as the internets. And so I try to just open Word, and write...and yet, I find myself reading the New York Times, and making a circuit of news sites, then, looking at various art sites, and then, looking at this site, and then...just idling away so much time it seems to slip away.

I think the problem is that the computer has come to be so associated with doing so many other things, that it doesn't seem to scream (or even whisper) "Productivity", in terms of writing fun things, resumes, or trying to get whatever serious things rolling.

What ways have you found to combat this?

I am gonna start writing rough drafts with pen and paper, in another room, and see if that helps, but sheesh, it's hard to break the habit of using the computer for chat, music, news, movies...basically anything but being productive :p
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Deleted member 111470

I don't know. When I write stories about my fursona, I'm usually focused, and I want to write my thoughts down before I forget it and mess everything up. I initially come up with a plot, and then I set myself time to write, and I make sure to make a draft of said story, otherwise it'll be gone from my mind.

Although, the longest story I've worked on is 12 pages. Most are under 8.


The cutest derg
Put on some music, leave it on shuffle, working to music greatly speeds up my productivity atleast


For me, there's no forcing me to write anything. If I don't feel like doing it, I won't. I need to get the drive, which is a bit of a different question than what you're asking. Weirdly, I wrote my one and only chapter of my story while at work surrounded by heavy distractions, but I was really focused so I didn't get bothered by them. I later edited it at home with less distractions, by then not so daunting of a task.

For you, if your problem is just internet things... turn off the internet? If you have no internet, no distraction! Win! I have unfortunately had friends who did just this, one is an aspiring author. He hasn't used the internet beyond research purposes in... a lot of years. Let's see, I met him in '06, he left early '07... so math. It was devastating and I still miss him (I get to text him once in a while via cellphone, that's it), but the internet was ruining his life because he was so obsessed with it and he decided that if he was going to pursue his dream as an author he had to get rid of the biggest deterrent he had: the internet.

Not so simple, you say? May just be you need to trick your brain into thinking super amazing writing time is a distraction from those boring internet things. (Is it working yet?)


mane diva
I plan my day in advance doing certain things at certain times working necessary things off before doing the fun things. This way I get everything done and don't get carried away doing something.

Deleted member 134556

I read books, both things I enjoy learning about and things that are useful to know. I’m sure it will come in handy during a friendly conversation.


Hello, Proto
I find music that has a similar feel to what I'm doing.
Kind of hard to explain, I guess.
Like if I'm reading or writing something spooky, I like to have some minimal spooky music playing.
It magnifies what I'm doing and makes me more interested, so I stick to it longer.


The Silent Observer
Instrumental/classical music is best for focusing, regardless of whether you like it or it's relevant to the current mood/theme.

The other 90% is discipline. I can sit here writing for hours but if I hit a wall, I accept it and take a break. Sometimes I'll compromise and work for 30 minutes, take 10 to do whatever and repeat throughout the whole day. I'm the only one that's gonna get this idea put down onto paper, I have to be willing to put that effort in.

I personally need the internet because I have to research a lot of stuff that I'd otherwise spend years trying to find in one book at a library. Also saves a lot of time looking up synonyms or specific adjectives that make everything pop a little more.


Prepare for the collapse
If you just need a word processor, I think there are (or were) programs you can get that pretty much lock your screen to the writing program until you close it. At least then it would be a conscious decision on your part to stop writing, instead of casually clicking away.

Personally, I used Write Monkey when I still had dreams of writing more. It worked pretty good. I liked that it had a timer and words/min counters so you could see your progress. I also enjoyed that it had an optional setting to make a typewriter noise with every key stroke. :)


Artemis the Satanist
I follow the Stephen King method of locking myself in a room with the computer and not turning on social media until I'm done with whatever I need to write/do. Even if it takes me hours.

I also keep a separate browser (Firefox Dev Edition) for looking up things related to productivity and work, so that I am not tempted to switch to an entertainment site.


vaporeon with Axolotl gill array as neck fin
Personally i also find this hard

the biggest thing i do is go into a different room then i normally use my computer in, and that helps a lot
... although its a bigger problem if you don’t have a laptop