A Hungarian psychologist named Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is recognized as the leading researcher of “flow,” or that state of mind where you are completely immersed in your work, experiencing high levels of focus, productivity, and creativity. As bloggers, we strive to reach and maintain a flow, battling against a slew of distractions during everyday life.
Research shows that environment and mood can either aid or disrupt our flow state of mind. The following tips explore ways to decrease distraction and clutter, so that you can reach your maximum work potential as a blogger.
1. Controlled Internet usage
The Internet is a distraction vortex. You might be busy queuing up blog posts at one moment, and then you might find yourself wasting time on social media. Cell phone notifications and chat popups can further distract your from your tasks. One of the greatest benefits of being a professional blogger is that you have immense flexibility over your time and habits. But Internet browsing can become a detriment to your workflow, if you are unable to manage distraction. Limit your browsing tabs, and only load pages that you absolutely need for work. If your assignments permit it, try unplugging your modem for a short period.
Life as a blogger can get cramped, especially if you spend most of your day hunched over a computer. Muscle cramps can be extremely distracting, and continued aches can discourage you from returning to work. Incorporate a 10- to 15-minute stretching and mobility regimen into your daily workflow. Relaxed muscles can help you maintain your concentration for longer periods of time, since you won’t be uncomfortable in your workspace.
3. Healthy snacking
You need fuel to maintain high levels of concentration while blogging. Junk food and carbs can leave you feeling stuffed for a short period of time, but you will eventually crash. These crashes can lead to long, unproductive periods, and you will not be able to blog effectively. High-protein and low-fat snacks, such as nuts, fruit, eggs, and fish can help you maintain focus and prevent you from packing on the pounds.
Don’t wait until you begin work to forage for snacks. Stock up on healthy snacks the next time you’re at the grocery store. Having snacks on hand will prevent you from interrupting your tasks to leave your workspace.
4. Short breaks
Even the most prolific bloggers need to take breaks. Movement can reinvigorate you, prepping you for upcoming tasks later in the day. You might find that a short walk provides can refresh your perspective, giving you enough distance and time to think of solutions to daily challenges.
Blogging continuously without breaks can be one of the fastest ways to burn out. You don’t want to operate on autopilot – your audiences can pick up on a disinterested blogging voice. Understand your habits and listen to your body – taking short breaks can improve the quality of your work and reboot your concentration!
5. Update your work environment
It’s difficult to maintain a flow state when your environment is distracting or uncomfortable. Can you imagine rushing back to blogging if your desk hurts your back or wrists? Is it likely that you’ll finish your assignments if your desk is cluttered or if your sink is overflowing with dirty dishes?
Mobile technologies are making it easier for us to interface with our household appliances. Imagine being able to control your oven and refrigerator functions without leaving your desk – home automation features on new appliances make this possible. Now you can take care of home necessities, such as preheating an oven to cook a meal, without interrupting your flow.