The problem: “Butterflies” are distracting thoughts that pop into our heads while we are working. If we pay attention to them, it’s easy to spend the day “chasing butterflies”, switching constantly from one thing to another.
The trick: Keep a pad of paper and a pen handy. When a butterfly
pops up write it down quickly and keep working.
The secret: When doing creative work, changing focus costs time because when you come back to a project you have to remember where you were, what you were thinking about and what you were about to do.
Why it works: We’re not very good at holding thoughts in our heads
while we do other things, so we interrupt ourselves to do something
right away so we won’t forget it. Writing it down means it’s out
of your head, but not lost. It’s “safe”, and you can stay focused
on what you were working on.
PS: Even small butterflies (“Oh, this will just take two minutes”)
are dangerous when your goal is to stay focused.
That’s it. Have a great day.