Writers, are you easily distracted? Try the ‘bubble’ technique.

I had one of those lightbulb moments about another sporting technique that can easily be applied to writing.

One of the most difficult things for a performance athlete to learn is total focus. This means learning that while you must address the things that are within your sphere of control, you must equally well learn to put out of your mind all the things over which you have no control – such as judges, audiences, or the environment. If you worry about the uncontrollable variables, your mind is not fully where it needs to be to produce a top class performance.

This can equally well apply to writers: while you are writing (and not performing any of the many, many associated tasks authors have to also perform, such as marketing, networking etc.), to be productive, you should put all possible distractions aside – especially those that you cannot control, such as emails arriving, external noise levels, weather, etc.

But how to do this?

One of the techniques performance athletes use is the ‘bubble‘.

Main image courtesy of CanStockPhoto12 912577

Try this:

  • Visualise yourself inside a sealed bubble.
  • Take everything you might need into the bubble with you – whatever you write on, writing software, notes, thesaurus etc.
  • Now deliberately exclude all the things you don’t need, like concerns about housework, tasks you must do later, emails that need replies, marketing that needs doing etc. Always include everything you can’t influence and put ALL of them outside your bubble.
  • Once you have your bubble set up, keep on imagining yourself inside it, no matter what goes on around you. You can play with personalising your own bubble: how thick the skin is, and how opaque you want it.
  • Your bubble will keep out anything you don’t need for the task ahead: writing!
  • You can take your bubble with you if you need to go for a coffee, or a comfort break – don’t pop it until you are ready to finish the task at hand.

Clearly this takes some effort in terms of visualisation, but this just takes practice, and if you really want the protection from those pesky outside influences that ruin your productivity, why not try this tried and proven technique?

You have nothing to lose.

Writers, do you use a technique to help keep you focussed? Or are you just very organised? Do share.

15 comments

  1. Lovely post, Debby. I use the bubble technique for all sorts of things. If I know I’m stepping into a situation with a person who is tricky to handle, I bubble. It helps me not to react if I am triggered emotionally and gifts a pause in any kind of situation. When I am creating I take a notebook into my bubble and if anything pops into my mind that I need to do concerning anything else, apart from my bubble task, then I jot it down and carry on focusing. I have varying degrees of success with the bubble technique. 😉 Much love flowing to you. ❤ Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jane, how lovely to hear how this technique can help in other areas of life too. I think we all have varying success, but it certainly can be effective if we practice it.
      Love to you too, ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deb, this bubble thing is so similar to ‘shielding’ which I wrote a few posts on when trying to keep negative energies of people at bay. I’d imagine it works the same! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I read your posts and thought at the time of the similarity, this is just specific visualisation technique that athletes use very effectively to raise performance levels.
      Keeping negative energy (and negative people!) away is another aspect of its use!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I think it’s a wonderful thing for clearing and performance. 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Late to the party, Debby, but thanks for sharing this concept. It’s something I NEED to perfect, so I’m saving this post, and reminding myself.

    What tends to happen to me is that I’m used to taking care of emails first thing in the morning, and even though I say I’m just going to deal with the ones that are urgent, I end up spending the entire morning on them. (I get a LOT of mail.) I’m thinking a better approach would be to ignore them (and everything else) until AFTER my allotted writing time is over. The bubble technique sounds exactly like the way to go.

    I’ll let you know how it works. (Wish me luck!) And thanks again for sharing such a simple, yet brilliant, approach. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely to see you back ‘in the saddle’ Marcia! I do wish you best of luck with trying out this well-proven technique, and I totally know where your starting point is – I also tend to do my emails first and then ‘go down the rabbit hole’ only to discover my writing time has vanished. I’m also going to try applying what I know!!!
      We can compare notes 😀

      Like

    2. Sounds like a plan to me! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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