One of the keys to becoming a fast and efficient writer is organisation.
Being organised before you even sit down to writing will help you to focus. It will allow you to get on with the task of writing without distractions.
Going through emails is a chore and can take much longer than you realise. Unless you’re expecting an urgent message, check your inbox after you’ve done your writing. It’s worth spending some time clearing out your inbox so that when you do check your emails it won’t take as long. Keep on top of them, deleting, archiving or dealing with each one on a daily basis.
The same goes for social media. Allocate a set amount of time for it, after your writing time.
To do lists are great for getting things out of your head. Once done, the list can be put aside so you can focus on the important stuff, your writing.
Make sure your writing space is tidy. There is nothing more draining than being surrounded by clutter and mess when you are trying to be creative.
Schedule Your Writing Time
Plan writing sessions in your diary and know what you are going to be writing about ahead of your allotted session.
Disconnect the internet, games and anything else that may distract you from writing. An email that pops up at the bottom of your screen can be extremely tempting to click into. Then before you know it, you’re surfing from one website to another and your well-planned hour of writing time has gone!
Practical Tips to Save You Time
If you write using Microsoft Word or any similar word processing program, make sure you back up your work regularly. There are a few ways to do this. You can,
1) Copy your work onto a memory stick or portable hard drive
2) Email your work to yourself
3) Upload your work to a cloud storage system, ie Dropbox
When you start a new document it is good practice to ‘Save As’ and name the document before you write your first word. It’s so easy to forget to save once you have started but if the document has been named, if something does go wrong, you shouldn’t lose all your precious work. This is because the system has somewhere to save the work to, ie a document name. If there is no name, then it doesn’t know where to save to. Get into the habit of saving your work as you go with CTRL+S, hold down the Control key and press S on the keyboard.
Create a Filing System for Your Work
Create a system to organise your work. There is nothing as frustrating as having to search through hundreds of files and folders looking for that one piece of writing that you did six months ago, that you know has some vital piece of information in it that you need right now.
Choose a system that works for you. If your files are already in a mess, allow a few hours to sort them out. Get out of the habit of saving to your desktop. It’s tempting to be able to click straight into the document as soon as your laptop/computer fires up, but there is only so much space on your screen and you will soon fill it.
Do please comment and let me know of any productivity tips of your own.
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