I have always had to-lists. It's a scatterbrain coping mechanism. It helps keep me focused. Everything must be checked off the list before I can go to sleep at night. Sometimes I can fudge and start tomorrow's list with things left over from the day before (I'm not OCD -really!). But most often, I just finish the list.
My writing is like this too. I don't have written lists, but I do have little rituals. As soon as I sit in my chair I check email. Next, I skim the Verla Kay boards for anything new since the last time I looked. It doesn't take long. Usually, no more than an hour or so has passed since the last time I looked. I check my blog to see who has stopped by. And finally, I open the Visual Thesaurus I have booked marked on the computer to use as a writing reference (great site BTW). At this point I am ready to write.
Lately I've added another little ritual to my writing routine. This one, however, has turned out to be a problem. I hate to admit it, but I've started playing games on the computer. The shame! I think I will simply play 10 minutes, just for fun. When I'm done, I'll get right back to writing. Except 10 minutes turns into 30, then 60. Before I know it, my writing time is wasted and I've accomplished nothing. My daily to-do list isn't completed, and I have to push writing to the next day.
Today, I'm deleting the game I downloaded. It's become a destructive distraction - an excuse for not finishing a WIP. Time to get back to business!
What are your distractions?