What helps you concentrate?

There are days when absolutely everything is a distraction. Despite all the ideas and inspiration you may have, there will inevitably be times where you find it more than a little difficult to just sit at your desk/computer/spot and write. This can be for many reasons; noise outside, a cluttered brain, or simple lack of motivation.

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Sometimes something as simple as a cup of tea can help

Here are some simple tips to help you concentrate better and get your writing done.

  1. Clear your desk. You’ll be amazed how much a clear working space can improve your concentration.
  2. Get rid of those distractions – or if you can’t, find ways to ignore them. If it’s noisy outside, close all the windows. If music helps you concentrate, put some on to drown out off-putting background noise.
  3. Clear your head. Easier said than done maybe, but a simple way to at least begin doing this is to perform a menial task, like washing up. It’s something that doesn’t require any brain power, freeing up your mind to return to your current piece of creative work. Don’t force the ideas, though; just make sure your work is on your mind and they should flow naturally.
  4. Inspire yourself. Sometimes you sit down to write with the best of intentions, but find that as soon as you get ready to work your motivation has suddenly evaporated. Your mind wanders; you check Facebook five times before you write one word; you just can’t concentrate. Close your laptop, put your notebook back in the drawer and go and do something to inspire yourself. Watch a recording of your favourite band/musician in concert; read a little by an author you admire; even go for a walk. You’ll soon find your motivation is back.

The final and most important tip is to not beat yourself up for not getting anything done. Sylvia Plath once said ‘the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.’ If you are hard on yourself for your lack of productivity and begin to doubt your abilities, you’ll find you won’t be getting very far any time soon. See a minor hurdle for what it is: a day where you found it hard to concentrate. There are going to be better, more productive days in your future.