Daylight saving time is next week, and with that comes good news and bad.
The good news: You’ll get next month’s blog an hour earlier.
The bad news: You’ll lose an hour of time to work on an upcoming proposal (not to mention, you know, sleep).
But we have more good news: We can help save you time – maybe even more than an hour.
How to save writing time
Whether you’re working on custom writing for an upcoming proposal or just drafting an important email to a client or your boss, there’s one major way to save time and still crush it: better editing.
Come on. You didn’t see that coming? We’re editors!
Truthfully, we all have the same amount of time in a day, so time really isn’t the issue. The issue is how you’re spending your time – or, in this case, why you’re running out of time. And my guess is it fits under one of five categories:
- Kitchen Sink
Most people suffer from procrastination at one time or another, and some even claim to use it as a strategy. But writing is not the time when you want to be rushing.
It is easy for readers to sense when something has been pieced together at the last minute. Clients in the business world in particular have vast experience in receiving and reviewing the type of writing you’re crafting for them. The time you put into writing will be obvious, and it should reflect well on you and the company.
Whether we’re in the middle of a bustling office or sitting at home with your laptop, we live in a distracting world. All it takes is a viral video, group text chat, email pop-up, business lunch … the list goes on, and your document remains untouched.
If you’re easily distracted, figure out your focus sweet spot, then eliminate as many distractions as possible – hide your phone, wear headphones, write in a notebook instead of on your computer, block time on your calendar. Whatever the case, solve it.
More often than not, people spend so much time trying to make their writing perfect that they waste all the time they had to write on editing.
Don’t do this. For one, nothing is going to be perfect out of the gate (and no one expects it to be). For another, there’s an entire team at the PDC dedicated to that editing part – but we need you to submit the proposal on time before we can do it!
Writing a proposal (or just an important email) can be overwhelming. You have mountains of information that you want/need to include, but you don’t know where or how to fit it all in – or even where to start.
Our advice: remember your why. What is the purpose of your document? Who is your audience? What do they need to know? Break down these basic pieces (we suggest an outline!) and you’ll find the actual writing to come much easier.
Maybe writing comes naturally to you, and instead, you’re losing time on the back end (probably trying to figure out how to cram everything you wrote down into the space you have allotted). One of the hardest tasks for any writer is often not the writing itself, but the rewriting.
Reading, editing, reading again. It’s all part of the writing process, and it’s a piece you want to save time for because even though we’ve been talking about saving your time when writing, it’s also important to remember that your audience is busy, too.
Make sure your document is focused and clear and cut anything that wasn’t asked for. Then, read it out loud in its entirety; anything that trips you up or that drags on too long should also be nixed.
Time is no one’s friend, but at least now it won’t be your enemy.
Don’t be sad. We’ll be back on the first Monday next month with a new blog post. If you can’t wait that long—whether because you have a topic you’d love us to cover, a question or you simply want to throw your two cents into the pot—we love talkin’ shop, so drop us a line.