It’s plain and simple: good writing requires good concentration. You cannot produce consistent, high quality work if you are constantly battling with interferences. When a writer acquires and retains focus, they can get a lot done, and much of it will be great. This is certainly a relief when working on deadline, something most every writer has to deal with at one time or another (or every day, depending on their occupation).
Do you have trouble attaining and maintaining that level of focus for more than a brief period at a time? Here are a couple of suggestions that might help to make things easier.
Hold Off on Your Research
The internet is a wonderful tool for research, but it’s even better when it comes to providing all manner of entertainment. Just as there are countless websites that will help you learn more about a historical period, than are many, many more that exist solely to provide distraction.
And distract they do—constantly. If your current work requires you to spend a significant amount of time doing online research, write around those parts and come back to them later. That way, your work will have less of a start and stop movement, meaning less impact on your flow. Mark the skipped text with something that is easily searchable, but will not necessarily match regular words (eg. **skip**) so that it can be quickly accessed when the time comes.
Switch Your Computer Settings
Many of us have instant messaging programs activated on our computers (and phones). They are great for letting us know when something new has happened, but their real purpose is to lure us into coming back…again and again and again. That can be unbelievably distracting, so make sure you disable these before you sit down to write. Think about every application that does this and shut them all down.