I find that my output has greatly suffered since my daughter stopped taking naps, there is always more to do with a three year old on the loose. Finding ways to stay focused while she is entertained come in spots of maybe an hour, but typically closer to 30 minutes, or the time it takes for her to watch a cartoon. I find that I need to set up certain points in order to help me stay focused.
Here's what I do - let me know what you do to stay focused for your chance to win a $5 Gift Card to Amazon! (Please be sure to put in your email so I can get it to you!)
1.) Set aside or fulfill your distractions. I start my day by getting my 3 year old breakfast and a show. While she eats I get my blog out (If I'm doing one that day.) This ensures that she's happy and distraction free for at least a half hour, while also being happy and cared for. Laundry is also another easy one to do throughout the day, set it and forget it for an hour.
2.) "Go to work." An environment change helps me remember I am at work, despite the fact that I'm still sitting in my living room. My favorite is to turn on some music. Something mood setting and not overpowering. But if you aren't a music writer, try a candle, or water fountain. Not only does will this help me remember I'm writing, but it also is an indication to my family. They hear my music and know I'm not ignoring them, I'm working.
3.) Come up with a plan. What piece will you work on? What scenes are you hoping to get through? Are you introducing a new character - whats his name and stats? If you are having difficulties staying focused during your writing period, write these out beforehand in a quick outline so you know where you are going.
4.) Open your document. I know this is ridiculously silly, obvious, and simple, but you have to have your work available to work on it. My biggest problem is I sit down at my computer and the first things I open are Facebook and Farmville. Not conducive to getting words on the page. If you are starting a new piece get it set up and organized the way you like, save it before hand so you can just hit ctrl+s on occasion without breaking your flow.
5.) Set up "break times" typically a work day out of the home goes for 2 hours, has a 15 minute break, goes for 2 hours, has a lunch break, goes for 2 hours, 15 minute break, 2 hours and done. Obviously the point of working at home is the flexibility, but giving yourself a gentle schedule will help you put off getting your coffee until your "coffee break"
6.) If your pen or keyboard is still not functioning take some time to look for inspiration or free write, but set a goal time of when you'll try writing for work again, I usually go about 15-20 minutes for these inspirational moments.