Q: I have a hard time being productive at home. Any tips for getting more done so I can get my writing business up and running sooner?

Katie YeakleA: (Katie Yeakle) First, make a list of your distractions. Are family members constantly interrupting you? Sit them down and explain the importance of your writing career. Let them know when it’s okay to talk and when you don’t want to be disturbed.

If your distractions come from social media, TV, or games, get rid of them. Logout of your profiles or use a program that blocks access, like Cold Turkey. Unplug your television set and gaming centers; don’t just turn them off.

Put reminders by the power buttons of each that your writing career will move your life and finances forward, while an hour of TV does nothing for you.

One technique a lot of our members use is to work in half-hour increments. Set a timer for 30 minutes (or 33.33, if you’re following the advice of legendary copywriter Gene Schwartz, who found it faster to just hit the number three button). Then commit to doing nothing else besides your writing projects during that time.

After the timer dings, you can get up, load the laundry, return phone calls, whatever. Just focus solely on your writing during your blocked time.

If you can get four or five of these under your belt each day, you’ll have enough dedicated work time to get your writing career off the ground.

The last alternative I’ll suggest is also the most fun: Don’t work at home! Remember, the beauty of the Barefoot Writer’s lifestyle is that it’s so portable. Take your laptop, or even a pen and paper to a park, or a coffee shop, or even a scenic place like the zoo.

Sometimes, just getting out of your house and away from daily stressors can make a world of difference.