Two tools for improving your concentration when writing
Every writer will have searched for that secret something to help them concentrate on producing the best work they can. Fundamental to writing is concentration, and today, we’re going to present you 2 new tools which will help you focus your concentration solely on your work.
Blending out the non-essentials with Writemonkey
This is bound to sound familiar: You’ve set the time aside to work on your article in peace and quiet. You’ve got your cup of tea to hand and are focused on meeting your deadline, which seems to be coming incredibly close. You’re totally concentrated on composing a great introduction to the article. After thinking it over, you’ve finally come up with the best opening sentence and start typing. In that exact moment, however, an email pops up and in the very same nano-second, your best friend from school appears on Skype. Your attention is momentarily drawn away from your previous activity of writing something …
Before you know it, you’re back at the starting point, but that deadline is just that little bit closer.
How frustrating. There is a free and clever little word processing tool available, though, which may just help. When you start Writemonkey, everything which could possibly distract you from writing will disappear from your screen. The programme takes up the full screen, presenting you only with the empty page and blinking curser. There are no complicated menus, lists or assistants. Through its minimalistic presentation, Writemonkey is an interesting option for those writers who just want to concentrate on the essentials: their own writing. Writemonkey only displays the file’s name, the word count of the current text and the date. This is what your screen looks like when you start Writemonkey:
Below the menu option ‘progress’, authors can enter the word count that they wish to reach in their article. The percentage to which this has been achieved is also shown. With such a clearly presented goal, you’ll remain concentrated on your article even if it’s not your most favourite topic.
If you’re one of those night-owls whose creativity flows best during the darker hours, you might feel a little put off by the blinding white background of this word processing tool. The developers at Writemonkey have, however, already thought of you and have integrated a function with which you can switch the colours on the screen. You can switch the background into black, and your text will appear in white.
Working efficiently with regular breaks
Now that you’ve got a tool to keep all possible distractions at bay, there’s nothing to stand in the way of your productivity. That said, every writer knows the importance of taking regular breaks. Taking regular breaks is important for securing long-term efficiency as a writer, and they’re also essential for generating fresh, new ideas. You’ll know how your concentration tends to sway after you’ve been working on one article for a few hours. Taking a short break in these cases can really work wonders in such situations.
The free tool at Focus Booster can really help put some timed structure into your working day. The programme is based on the Pomodoro technique, which is a time management method that had been developed in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo. He uses a regular egg timer to separate his time into segments, termed by him as ‘pomidori’. Following each segment of working time, there’s a break of five minutes. Following four working segments, there’s a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.
The aim of the technique is to help maintain full concentration on the work. All distractions during the working segments should be avoided. If an email comes in, it should be ignored until the first break times in.
“Focus Booster” just replaces Cirillo’s egg timer and gives the user a whole range of possible options. The tool enables you to define the length of your working segments and your breaks – you know your own working rhythm best! You can configure the programme in such a way that following a set period of time, an alarm clock will sound. Enjoy your break, check your emails or deal with a smaller task that occurred to you when writing. This will leave your mind free when you sit down to your next working segment.
Tip: Use focus booster and WritingMonkey at the same time. Through the combination of both programmes, you’ll be able to maintain your focus and concentration.
We hope these tools help! If you’ve got any recommendations or tips for writing, let us know. Share your tips in the comments!