Distraction is a forced to be reckoned with. From Sunday school and college classes to workplace meetings and Tyler Perry movies, becoming distracted is one of those things you’ve got to work hard to avoid.
Even worse, at least as far as copywriters are concerned, they not only spend the majority of the day at a desk in one of those super comfortable swivel chairs, but they’re doing what most would consider one of the most mind-numbing activities known to man: writing.
Yup, though the activity is one of the most mentally taxing, after you’ve been doing it for long enough, projects start to run together.
Because of this, the big money grab comes from producing as much as possible, as quickly as possible—all this while ensuring that jaw-dropping copy for clients is all that comes from your fingertips.
Needless to say, distraction is probably the biggest obstacle for many copywriters to overcome. Rest assured, if this is something you’ve had to deal with during your career, there are means through which this challenge can be defeated.
Seriously, run a simple Google search and you’ll see articles touting that they’ve found 150 of ‘em. Yeah, those might work for some people, but I think I’ve found the three most effective.
Here’s what I’m working with:
1) Begin Working Earlier In the Morning
If it’s good enough for Bob Bly, it should be good enough for both you and me, don’t you think? I’ve always been a bit of a morning person, but even if you’re not, the early morning hours are easily the most effective for getting some real work done.
Think about it—if you’re working at five o’clock in the morning, what is the rest of America doing? Sleeping.
So, not only have you eliminated much of your copywriting competition (you’re such a hard worker), but you’ve liberated yourself from a mountain of distractions. Only, these distractions can’t ever be entirely done away with unless you’re super messed up—other people.
Be they clients, family members or friends, as the sun starts to come up and the day wears on, a host of people—many of which you’ll need to drop everything you’re doing to speak with—will undoubtedly reach out and unknowingly prevent you from making money.
Simply put, the earlier you get up, the more likely you are to work as you please. There’s nothing sweeter than this.
2) Put Aside Your Smartphone and Gmail Account
Floyd Mayweather could literally be doing battle a second time round with Manny Pacquiao right next to my desk and it wouldn’t keep me form working as smoothly as having my smartphone and Gmail account near me.
Man, those things—though a massive blessing—are often such a hindrance. I get that it can be hard to turn them off completely.
Believe me, I totally get it.
But, if you can manage to work two or three hours a day with your smartphone turned completely off—silent mode doesn’t count, by the way—and your Gmail account closed and out of site, you give yourself that much more time to make money producing awesome web or traditional copy.
Once your daily distraction fast is complete, turn your smartphone back on and open up Gmail to respond to the hundreds of emails that are now waiting for you.
3) Set Mini Motivational Goals Throughout the Day
This is huge for me. Listen, I love both copywriting and making money. That said, what I don’t like is this mentality that if you’re not writing, you’re sinning.
Copywriters are people too, ya know!
They have skills and hobbies that have little or nothing to do with writing. Some of these things can even be done during the work day.
For example, I love to run. I’m no olympic runner or anything, but for me, it’s relaxing and a great way to get me out of the office and outdoors. Plus, it keeps me feeling great. By so doing, when it’s time to get back to writing, I’m relaxed and substantially less restless.
Now, what does running have to do with avoiding distraction?
At the beginning of the day, if the weather is nice and I feel like a run, I’ll tell myself that there can be no run until I’ve written at least 5,000 words.
This method requires a great deal of self-discipline, but can be extremely useful if you’re true to it. Maybe it’s watching a sitcom, playing with your kids or heading out for a quick lunch with your wife—whatever the case, make it a point to set small tasks that must be taken care of before getting to what you really want to do.
This is gold.
Hey, this is a small list—I get it. Surely, something else has helped keep you working as efficiently as possible, while minimizing interruptions. Don’t keep these tricks of the trade a secret! Please, if you’ve got the time, jot down of few of them in the comments section below.
Lucas Miller is the Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, editing or running, he's working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the "World's Greatest Pompadour." Additionally, for what it's worth, his editorial works have been featured on Social Media Today, Business2Community, Ragan's PR Daily, Spin Sucks and many other top-tier PR publications.