Monday, November 3, 2008

Six Easy Habits For Improving Writing Efficiency

Writing . . . we all love it ~ but how hard is it for you to start a project or finish it? If you're like most writers, that's the biggest challenge in your career ~ but it doesn't have to be.

Here’s some helpful hints on how to take the headaches and heartaches out of writing professionally each and every day.

1. Keep it clean

If your office or desk is in a mess, you're most probably in a mess too. Get into the habit of clearing and cleaning your desktop at the end of each day, and your office at the end of each week. By keeping your work place free of clutter, you'll start the day and the new task quicker and fresher.

2. Plan each task and each day

Often projects can appear insurmountable until you break them down into individual tasks and prioritize them. Thesame applies for your day. There’s always so much to do, but what do you do first?

Start each day with a 'to do' list. Prioritize the most important tasks for the day and, if they are not completed, transfer them to the next day's list with an appropriate priority rating.

In addition to a daily plan, keep weekly and monthly plans for longer term or larger projects. Each week, review the list and transfer tasks to your daily lists, as required.

3. Keep a shopping list

When you're running low on supplies, add them to your shopping list to ensure you have them when you need them.

4. Get into a routine

Discover when you are working at peak efficiency ~ is it first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Allocate your most intensive tasks for these peak periods, and choose to do other tasks, such as filing, research and administration at other times.

5. Do tasks in batches

Variety may be the spice of life, but you can often improve productivity by doing a number of the same tasks in batches, such as responding to correspondence, emails and phone messages.

6. When you’re hot, don't stop

When you’re hitting those keys at a blistering pace, the last thing you want to do is stop ~ so avoid the temptation by placing the answering machine on, so that you can keep up the pace. Make sure, however, that you return calls before the end of that day.

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