My New Social Media Habits: Paying Attention

Day five of writing for an hour before going online!

Yesterday, I will admit, the hour was a struggle. What I wrote wasn’t very good. I didn’t really know where I was starting much less going. However, I kept writing. I also reminded myself a) that I’m new to this single-tasking thing, and b) I know from experience that writers have good days and not so good days. It’s a matter of persistence.

Today, however, was fantastic. As I was taking my shower, I had an idea for a scene that ties some things together in my story, so I began my hour knowing what I would be writing about. I am beginning to realize that, when I do know what I’ll be writing about (in other words, when I’ve done a little planning the dayโ€”or showerโ€”before), I can comfortably write about 1000 words of fairly coherent first-draft fiction in an hour. That helps me with further goal setting and planning.

Something else I’m doing is thinking about my next goal, which will involve streamlining my email and other online tasks. I’m starting by doing two things:

  1. Breaking down my online activity into discrete tasks: e.g., checking home email, checking work email, deleting spam comments from my blog dashboard, replying to blog comments, etc.
  2. Paying attention to how much time it takes to do these tasks

I seem to be able to check emails, Facebook, and Twitter, and reply to most of what needs my attention in about 30 minutes. That doesn’t mean I’m keeping it to 30 minutes at this point. I’m just noticing and paying attention rather than acting mindlessly. So, even when I find myself later in the day needlessly checking email, I know it’s needless.

That must be a first step, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Baby steps all the way.


14 thoughts on “My New Social Media Habits: Paying Attention

  1. Way to go! Sounds like your doing great! And love the cartoon. The beach today was my break from the world and that was fun, but I’ve hit writers block suddenly : (. I haven’t come up with anything for that past few days.

    • I’m glad to see that yesterday’s and today’s writing have been good for you! Maybe the beach washed away the block. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Isn’t the comic fun? That happens to me, too–starting strong and falling into old habits later in the day. Longer periods will come with time, I think. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I love this post, Lisa. First and foremost because the shower muse is by far my favorite muse, and has inspired me on so many different projects. Secondly – I just LOVE that cartoon!
    Hope the rest of your week goes well, and the writing flows smoothly.
    Hmm. Perhaps a shower before the hour of writing before the internet…

    • Michelle, the shower as muse! I love it. I get soooo many ideas in the shower. I don’t know if it’s the shower itself or the fact that I’m usually not all the way awake yet.

      The cartoon made me laugh, especially as I’m preparing to teach in a few weeks.

  3. Thank you Lisa for streamlining my work day. I really appreciate this post & it is right on time for me. I love the cartoon.

    By the way (or should I say, BTW?), I have turned off my radio while riding to work some days to record/plan my next writing day. I don’t turn it off during each ride because I rely on my trip to work to sing loudly and work out any writer anxiety. *wink*

    • Christie, thanks so much for sharing your radio tip! I’m trying to keep track of what everyone says works for them to include in a later post. Showers. Cars. The muse has many homes. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reading your comment, I realize that I used to sing loudly in the car, but haven’t in a long time. A ritual to bring back, me thinks.

  4. Lisa, Your posts have had an influence on me lately. Along with my end of the summer clean-out of closets and cabinets and such (a pre-“back to work” nesting spree, I think), I moved my laptop into the basement, in my craft room. I’m hoping that my time spent on the laptop will be concentrated and more efficient.

    Either that, or I’ll be getting a lot more exercise in the coming months when I jot down stairs several times a day to check and re-check email ๐Ÿ™‚

    Whatever the result, I’m impressed by your commitment and hope I can emulate it, even slightly ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Christi, I love the idea of changing the location of your working space! We have a very small house, and what was my study a long time ago became our son’s bedroom, so I work in what is general living space–not always conducive to concentration. The creative energy of the craft room sounds perfect. And the exercise is a bonus, lol! Thanks so much for your supportive words. I’m thrilled with how we are all working through the same challenges together.

  5. “Paying Attention” — I should be doing more of that, lol!

    As I was reading the post, you may enjoy the book Master Your Workday Now by MIcchael Linenberger. You’ve probably read it, but if not it may be of interest.

    Enjoy the small steps!


    • Lee, I am not familiar with the book, but it looks very interesting, so I just put a hold on a library copy. Thanks for the suggestion!

      I am truly enjoying the small steps in a way that surprises me. I am not naturally well organized. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lisa, there was definitely a wrinkle in the universe today. I checked my twitter account for new followers today, and found you there, along with the link to your website. I’ve just finished day three of going to my desk first thing every morning to write for an hour without logging on to any of my social media outlets or the internet. These last three days have been the most productive and satisfying three days I have had in I don’t when! Right now, I’m working on rejuvenating my blog. Doing that and posting regularly will get me into the habit of writing regularly. Then, I intend to work on my book.

    I’ve scheduled my time this way for now:

    First hour (with lots of coffee): Straight writing. As I go forward, this will be the time I will often work on new stuff.

    Short transition (15 – 30 minutes) Quickly review email and respond to anything “hot.”

    Next 90 minutes: More writing and revising what’s already in the hopper.

    I so hope your schedule helps you, and I so hope mine helps me.

    I sent you a message on SheWrites, too.

    Best of luck.


    • As my post last night indicated, this comment made my day! Thanks so much. I really like how you build transition time into your activities (something I should have remembered from when our son was young!).

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