There are so many types of distractions that come up while we are writing. Last week I talked about how to support yourself with the distractions that you come up with for yourself, mostly in your mind.
This week, in Part II of how to stop being distracted from your writing, I am sharing about how to support yourself so that you are not distracted by other people. What I see for myself and my clients is that after managing our own minds (which is ongoing by the way!), it’s really looking at how to ask others to support us in creating and honouring our writing time. Through my experience, and as I have a 6 year old who usually wakes at 550am and I do most of my writing between 5 and 630am, I have learned that this is an ongoing process.
There are different levels of distractions from other people that are progressively farther away and therefore progressively easier to say “no” to or not respond to (Types of Distraction Circles). For example, through my own experience and from what my clients share, when someone comes to your physical environment it is more challenging to say no to them than if they call you or email you or contact you over social media. As the distraction is further and further away from you, it is easier to say no.
Here, we are going to look specifically at a process to support you to create a physical environment that is honouring your commitment to your writing time by asking others to support you in a kind way that are contacting you in person. In this process, we are applying it to how to honour your physical space and you could also play with how you might apply this process to phone/video calls, email and social media.
Steps to honour your writing time by consciously connecting with others:
- Get clear on why you want to create this time for yourself to write and why it’s important to you, write it down and make it visible for yourself.
- Identify those that may seek you out in your physical environment during your writing time.
- In person, share the following with those that you have identified:
- The specific times that you are going to be writing, why your writing is important to you and how you creating this time for yourself benefits them. For e.g. This writing time is important to me because I am writing a grant that is critical to support the financial foundation of the lab.
- The circumstances under which they may interrupt you while you are writing i.e. what qualifies as an emergency or urgent. For e.g. if there is an emergency like a chemical spill or liquid nitrogen tank leak or if someone is hurt. This may seem like it should be obvious but it will emphasize that you are really honouring this time for yourself.
- Put a sign on your door to emphasize what you shared about the time you are creating and what their next step might be if they want to connect with you. This tip came from my coach Jennifer Sherwood. Connect in with what feels good for you in terms of what you want to share on your sign. For example, I am focussed on writing right now. I also want to focus on you. If this is not an emergency, please email me and we will create a time when we can focus on what is happening for you.
- If any of this feels like it’s not possible for you to do, take a look at that for yourself and ask why is it not feeling possible for you and what is that about for you? This is where the deep work that often requires accountability and support comes in and real transformation can happen for you.
Following these steps will create a supportive structure for you and those around you to create a time for yourself to write. Be kind with yourself during this process as it can be very challenging to shift into creating more time for ourselves and not respond immediately to the needs of others.
Remember, you are also supporting them to take responsibility for what’s happening for them and learn to support and show up for themselves in new ways as well.
Interestingly, I literally just had someone call me and I didn’t answer. A few minutes later they emailed me to say they figured it out for themselves and there was no need to call back.
If you stay with it, you will begin to create evidence for yourself and there will be less phone calls, knocks on the door, requests from people during your writing time. It is your time and you will have created a supportive structure to honour your time and yourself! Yay!
As you know, creating transformation is easier said than done! If you are struggling with creating time for yourself to write and want to go deeper into what’s happening for you to create real, sustainable transformation with the highest accountability and support, please connect with me for your complimentary Discovery Call at firstname.lastname@example.org. In this powerful call, we will connect around what’s happening for you and see whether the work I do is a good fit for you.