The hardest part of writing sometimes is learning to avoid distractions. Some household distractions (pets/children insisting you play with them, phone calls, snow shoveling/leaf raking/lawn mowing, etc.) can be avoided by writing very early in the morning or very late at night. But that was in the days before the internet.
Email, Facebook, Google+, Twitter - you think you'll just check in "just for a moment", but then, when next you surface, hours have passed. At least with research you have an excuse.
One way of managing distractions is set them as part of a routine. First thing in the morning I'll check the Astronomy Picture of the Day for inspiration, a few of my favorite webcomics and two online newspapers for the news while I'm eating breakfast. Then there's a break to uncover the cockatoo's cage and feed her (she's not a morning bird). Email and Facebook checking is done while she decides if she wants to play. And then it's time to work.
Other distractions can be set up as rewards - so many words, or pages, or marketing/promotion time done and then you can check that blog or Facebook or emails.
Since it's March once again, my major distractions are the nest cams. I first blogged about my addiction to watching nest cams last year here (where you can find more details and links to various cams). For those keeping track, the Decorah eagles are currently sitting on three eggs, the Valmont, Colorado owls Dan and Snowflake have three as well, the San Francisco peregrines Dan and Lil have four eggs, and the San Jose peregrines Clara and EC have two (but at least two more are expected). There are also new cams installed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, such as one with sound on Great Spirit Bluff.
Fortunately, there are enough people reporting on nest activities either in the forums or via email and putting up Youtube videos of significant/important/funny events that I can check those in order to catch up rather than having screens open for hours on the various nests. Until the fuzzballs start wandering, that is.
What are some of your distractions and how do you manage them?
Or do they manage you? Ooo, shiny!
Done yet? Now can we play catch?