1. Start writing first thing.

Okay, I eat first, and brush my teeth, things like that. But I don’t give myself a chance to see that the laundry needs to be done, or remember that I was going to buy groceries. If necessary, I leave the house so I won’t be distracted by those things. They can wait. Writing can’t.

2. Prepare to start writing first thing.

For this, you need a time machine. Or, failing that, every time you stop writing, give a little thought to where you will begin the next time. Make notes if you need to. This saves fumbling around once you start writing again.

It’s also good to make sure your equipment is ready to go–laptop is charged, pencils sharpened, notebook not about to run out of paper, whatever.

3. Don’t futz around.

This one is a bit like #1, but applies to once you’ve gotten started. If you find yourself at a natural stopping place, use that time to visit the restroom, get a drink, stretch. But don’t get distracted. Before you get up from writing, apply #2 and figure out what you’ll work on when you get back from your break.

4. Turn off your phone and internet.

You’ve heard it before. It’s still good advice.

5. If you must read first, read something boring.

This advice might only apply to me…but I have a hard time eating breakfast without reading something, so I’ve developed a strategy so I can still start right in on the writing. I don’t take my current exciting reading with me when I go to write. I bring a nonfiction book that I’m reading ver-e-ry slowly, or a light novel that I don’t think will involve me too deeply. The key is to put the book down as soon as I’ve finished eating. And then I write.

Your mileage may vary!