How to avoid distractions when writing content

By Beth Horner
7th September 2022

Avoiding distractions can be difficult in any job, but when writing content every day – being able to focus for long periods of time is essential. Breaking off from a piece of writing can put you behind and take you out of ‘the zone’ – and any writer knows that is less than ideal.

Our content team have put together some of their top tips for avoiding distractions when writing content.

Sonya Karimkhanzand

1. Use ‘work mode’ on your phone

I have set my phone up to automatically go onto a focus status called ‘work mode’ which starts at 9am and ends at 5.30pm. You can choose which apps to block notifications from, as well as which contacts to block calls and texts from.

The only apps that are able to notify me during this time are slack and outlook emails. And during this time, the only contacts that I will receive texts or calls from are my parents and boyfriend.

Having ‘work mode’ set on my phone helps me immensely as I don’t go on my phone if I can’t see notifications lighting up / alerting my phone screen.

2. Exercise at Lunch time

It may not work for everyone but getting exercise at lunch helps motivate me for the rest of the day.

I try and go to the gym on my breaks as I’ve found when I return from my gym session, I feel more motivated to power through my to-do-list for the afternoon, and therefore avoid distractions.

A midday gym session is miles better than an afternoon coffee for my energy.

3. An Organised workspace

I make sure that my workspace surrounding me is organised.

I find a cluttered workspace can make me feel overwhelmed with my workload, so I declutter my desk / workspace and only keep the essentials around me for the day.

Having a tidy and organised workspace allows me to focus more on the work at hand and therefore avoid distractions.

Emily Grote

1. Work with headphones on

For me, headphones are an amazing tool to help me concentrate and block out the outside world when I’m writing.

I have noise cancelling headphones, which I find work the best and are also really comfy to wear.

Often, I’ll listen to songs on repeat or playlists I’ve created of songs that I know really well so that I’m not really listening to the music and can focus on what I’m writing.

2. Have your brief on another screen

This really helps me make sure that the content is on brief.

I also always put the key terms at the top of what I’m writing, and sometimes even highlight them in red as I add them into the piece, so that I can make sure the piece is SEO friendly and hitting the target objectives.

Obviously, you need two screens for this, but it can be really invaluable, so I do recommend getting a second screen if you don’t already have one.

3. Use post-it notes for objectives and client guidelines

This works especially well if I’m writing for new clients, or ones that I am pretty unfamiliar with.

Instead of having to constantly re-consult their website, I can just check the post-it note to check that everything I’m writing fits into their brand strategy, ethos and tone of voice.

Amy Hobbs

1. Exercise in the morning

For me, going for a run before work really helps me to get rid of restless energy so that I can concentrate and stay motivated throughout the day.

If running isn’t your thing, then just getting outside and in the fresh air is a good way to start your day.

2. A change of scenery

I try to go into the office for a change in environment.

I find this particularly helpful when I am writing a more difficult piece as it helps me to shake things up.

I also find that having co-workers around helps motivate me rather than working alone sometimes.

3. Put the phone away

We all know your phone can be your biggest distraction, so the best way to deal with that is to move it away from your desk.

I put my phone at the back of the room, playing music so it isn’t next to me, and I can’t just grab it and scroll endlessly.

So, there you have it – our content team’s top tips for avoiding distractions. Exercise, getting outside, and avoiding your phone notifications seem to be the common themes for us.

If you want to chat to us about content writing, then send us a message.

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