We (I) often use mental blocks or excuses to put-off things I know I should do. For me this frequently happens with scripture study and blogging, which I often combine. I’ll quickly read my scriptures on my phone, instead of a full-blown study, which I usually do on my computer. To help overcome this, make it as easy as possible to get started with the task, and block other things that distract you from focusing.

Use Bookmark-Folders to Get Started Quickly

We recently shared an excellent browser-based setup for studying the scriptures on your computer, but it requires opening multiple tabs/windows. Rather than have to open each of these various bookmarks, use this method to open them instantly:

  1. Create a bookmark folder titled “scripture study” or whatever.
  2. Grab the various sites you would like to open, and save/drop them into the new folder.
  3. To start your study/writing session, right-click the folder and select “Open all bookmarks in new tab/window”

This works in most browsers, though it may be a little different from one to another.

I personally use my Sacred Symbolic blog as a place where I write about the things I’ve been learning. Evernote is to clip sources, quotes, scriptures, etc from the web or record short ideas or outlines. But eventually I try to take what I’ve been studying, and write it up as something more accessible. That way I can share it with others, as well as have it to review myself. So I include the home page of my blog, as well as the post admin page, so I can quickly start a new post.

Tabs, opened in new window (I use side-tabs in Chrome)

Use A Site-Blocking Plugin to Avoid Distraction

To make your scripture study and/or writing time more effective, install a productivity plugin designed to help you stay on task, by blocking sites that distract you. Here’s a few good options:

  • Firefox: LeechBlock – “LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.”
  • Chrome: StayFocusd – Similar to LeechBlock, but for Chrome. Fairly simple with not too many options to setup.
  • Chrome: Nanny for Google Chrome – A more complex alternative to StayFocusd. It’s got more options, but also allows you to start and stop the site blocking throughout the day. So you can (for example) let yourself look at time-wasting, distracting sites, during your lunch hour.
  • Internet Explorer: I couldn’t find anything similar, so use it for what it’s best for: downloading other browsers.

Set the plugin to block block Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, Blogger, Google Reader, and other distractions at a certain time of day, when you’ll do your scripture study. This way, you can’t access those sites, when you’re supposed to be studying.
Do you have a similar or related approach or tip? Let us know in the comments.