Being A More Efficient Writer
Find yourself swamped with writing work and not enough time to finish everything? That’s not an alien problem to many writers. In fact, it’s probably something everyone’s struggled with at one point or another. The good news is, there are some things you can do to immediately ease the pressure.
- Take less work. If you’re swamped, there’s a good chance you’re trying to bite off more than you can chew. Be more realistic about how much you can actually accomplish. Start by chopping off 10% of your workload.
- Prioritize. If you have a dozen different tasks at hand, then assign each one a priority. Worrying about 12 different jobs at the same time won’t help you accomplish any single one. Once you have a priority list, start from the top and focus on that alone — you can worry about the rest later.
- Autopilot your schedule. That means, reserving specific hours in the week for your writing. Whether that be 6 or 8 or 10 hours a day, block it off in your schedule and stick to it through hell and high water (unless the hell and high water are literal, of course).
- Insist on a 24-hour starting point. Once you have a clear docket, then create a 24-hour rule: you start every new writing assignment within 24 hours of receiving it. Even if you reschedule completing it for another day, getting a headstart from the first 24 hours gives you a lead that will pay off when you do give it your full attention later.
- Overestimate. If you estimate a writing project at five hours, then assign six hours to its completion. A 20% excess time gives you enough room for any glitch that happens. If you finish without consuming the extra time, then use it to give yourself a headstart on other tasks.
- Use software tools. The more of your writing process you can automate, the more efficient you’ll become. As such, you should really consider leaving things like detailed proofreading and spellchecking to a qualified grammar software — it will save you plenty of manual labor that a computer can otherwise take care of.