The Disney Pixar movie Up! features one of my favorite scenes of all time. Dug, the Golden retriever with a voice box, is introducing himself and gets distracted by a squirrel. Watch this short clip for a laugh:
When I sit down to write a paper, I can relate to Dug (yes, squirrels distract me, but so do email alerts, people walking by my apartment talking loudly, my phone ringing or having to get up to get some water or food).
According to Mind Tools, distractions can decrease productivity and increase stress. Being able to focus is essential to reading, writing, and researching. Here is an interesting map from Learning Fundamentals that displays tips for focusing:
If you seriously want to finish your paper, then read The 99%'s "10 Online Tools for Better Attention and Focus" to learn more about the free tools that allow you to block certain websites (i.e., Facebook) for a certain period of time, block out your entire screen except the word processor, and maximize your focus with 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break.
How do you stay focused? Do you turn off all electronic devices? Do you listen to music to block out other noises? Share what works for you in the comments section.