When I was in high-school, I remember waking up and switching on the TV before doing anything else. KTV or Sun Music needed to be on, making noise, before I even went to take a dump. Something about silence bothered me no end.
This habit comes back to haunt me, today, when I need to write important stuff. I feel anxious and restless and tell myself that a fun film I’ve watched before is good company — comforting background noise. I often choose a mass Tamil film and get to writing.
By the end of two films back to back, I would have finished writing. Except, what would have taken me 2 hours of focus takes 6 hours with comforting company. To say nothing of the typos and other errors I must fix later.
I’ve learned — after much pain — that I can’t multi-task. Meaning, I can, but I’m shit at it. Everything takes longer, quality drops and I feel more exhausted at the end of it all.
Now, I try as much as humanly possible to do one thing at a time, even if it’s just 30 mins of undistracted time. Some days or for some tasks, I need Focus. On others, I can manage on my own. But protecting myself against distractions is the best thing I’ve done to my writing.