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An online devotional for writers
I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” (Nehemiah 6:3, NLT)
Does an interruption throw you off your concentration as you write? If you said yes, you’re not alone.
Among a writer’s worse interruptions are email and texts, according to a study published by Gloria Mark at the University of California-Irvine. Mark reports that after only 20 minutes of computer interruptions (like email), workers indicate significantly higher stress, frustration, workload, effort, and pressure.
Concentration produces more creativity and a corresponding likelihood of meeting deadlines.
But an interruption breaks your concentration. Interruptions like email and texts.
Nehemiah, too, knew that interruptions were counterproductive. He worked diligently with the Israelites to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, but enemies tried to distract him – five times. “They were just trying to intimidate us,” said Nehemiah. “So I continued the work with even greater determination” (Nehemiah 6:9, NLT). Nehemiah and his team finished the wall in a record 52 days.
Some interruptions are inevitable: your child ‘s teacher calls from school. Your boss taps on your door and asks for a document.
But if can you avoid a self-imposed interruption, then do so. One way: read your email and texts at designated intervals, rather than checking them as they arrive.
You’ll save additional time in reorienting back to your original task. And you’ll avoid unnecessary stress, frustration, and pressure.
Limit interruptions to reduce writing stress.
I am ready to respond when interrupted with good reason. But show me how to limit unnecessary interruptions. I want to reduce stress and be more productive. Give me the self-discipline to do so.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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