Productivity has always been at the heart of humans. Ever since the medieval times, man’s greatest concern and yearning was to be more productive. Judging from the medieval tools and the industrialization period, people always strove to achieve maximum productivity. In the modern world, this manifests in how people take more than one job, have long work periods and also have little or no time for recreation. Well, for some it is a means of survival. Their lifeline or livelihood greatly depends on it. However, for some, it is a matter of principal. It’s almost like a virtue that ought to be followed religiously. The narrative on efficiency and effectiveness has always been there regardless of whatever field of work one is in.
In our case, writers too are not left out. For those earning a living by writing, your total earnings are determined by how productive you are. It is the dream of any writer out there to be able to craft a masterpiece in the shortest time possible. It’s the goal of any writer out there to publish quality content that is actually relevant and responsive to the needs of the readers.
This inadvertently calls for writers to apply the tenets of productivity. By combining focused efforts and intelligent planning, you are sure to be more productive. However, this is something that is easier said than done.
If you are seeking to be more productive in your writing and generally to improve your content writing, carefully consider these tips that you can apply.
1. Always Be Prepared
If you had an ordinary childhood, then you must have had scouts and girl guides/brownies or whatever you used to call them in your school. If you were conversant with their activities, you always saw them marching around like soldiers, doing community and social work amongst other official duties that entailed responsibility.
The general motto for all scouts was ‘Be prepared’ which they all said in unison and better yet, they practiced it by swiftly acting on any duty that was assigned to them regardless of time and place. This is the point I’m trying to bring out here. Just like a scout, you as a writer ought to be prepared to write anywhere and anytime. The true test for anyone who professes to be good at something is the ability to take up work as swiftly and as soon as they get it regardless of the circumstances because that comes with the job.
Well, the general picture that people have of writers is that they are normally to be found in libraries, parks, and all the quiet places that one can imagine. However, with modern day dynamics, the world is getting too noisy, both literally and figuratively. The number of perfect places to go write is quickly dwindling. So, in a bid to increase your productivity, always prepare yourself to write under any circumstances.
It is all about getting your mind in the ideal state to be able to focus on the task ahead. There are writers and journalists who have written masterpieces even in war fields with bullets flying all over and explosions around them. Therefore, your physical location should not be a determinant as to whether you are going to write in a productive way. It is actually your mental preparedness to undertake tasks in whatever circumstances.
Before I build up on this point, just a fair question, can you write about something that you have no idea about and have never even heard of? If you think you can, then it might actually be true that ‘anything is possible when you do not know what you are talking about.’ Well, there is no way you can come up with any viable content if you have not carried out research. Therefore, research is almost inevitable if you are to come up with any viable content for your write-up. There are many benefits of carrying out research. The most important is that you get mastery of the content you are going to write. Research is the secret to writing many articles within a short period of time. This is because you have already built up on your content and all that’s left is to write it in the fastest way you can.
Carrying out research is how you increase your productivity and how you come up with content that brings intellectual satisfaction to the readers. For maximum productivity, do the research beforehand, then write afterward. This will enable you to compose and organize a coherent and comprehensive article. Use your research findings to come up with a detailed outline. Trying to juggle between writing and looking for content at the same time is what lowers your writing speed, hence decreasing productivity. You might actually take a whole day to compile a write-up that was supposed to take just a couple of hours.
3. Stop Multitasking and Do One Thing At a Time
For this point, I’ll take you back to the industrialization period. I know I have mentioned it once or twice now but just grasp the point that I’m getting at. Managers and administrators of personnel in those days were so keen on improving the productivity of their employees so that they increase the overall output of the organization. With the rising population and increasing demand for goods and services, this just had to be done if humanity was to be sustained. So what these guys did was categorizing workers according to their special skills. This was later referred to as work specialization. Each worker was to do one thing at a time so as to be able to do it quickly and with precision. The overall effect was increased organizational output as a result of the division of labor with work specialization.
In the same light, when you are writing, employ this idea. Stay focused on one thing at a time, in this case, it’s writing. That’s how you become more productive. When you start your writing, cease doing all other irrelevant things. If you text on your mobile phone, reply to emails, eat, or check out that cool video playlist on YouTube while also trying to piece up an article, the result will be slow writing and divided attention.
There is no way you can focus. In fact, you may just end up mistakenly writing lyrics of that song you are busy listening to while writing your article. Your content may even lack flow and coherence since your attention is divided. Therefore, avoid multi-tasking by all means.
4. Take a Break
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, this might be a cliché statement but it’s self-explanatory. We are all humans and we all need rest. Our bodies and minds need breaks from usual work routines in order to rejuvenate and replenish energy. The more you exert yourself, the weaker your body and mind get. This is just the perfect recipe to diminish your productivity. When you’re tired, you tend to slack in your research, too, which leads to creation of poor content. Therefore, the ideal solution is to instill a culture in yourself to always take breaks in between writing periods. It is also recommended that you should work not more than 10 hours in a day.
5. Write First, Edit Later
Most writers have the tendency to be perfectionists. They want to write the perfect article at once. Thus, you will often see them editing and proofreading their work after every sentence and paragraph. Well, the cold truth is that no one is perfect. Writing the perfect article is only a mirage.
Even after proofreading and editing your work a million times, at the end you will always have errors. So the best thing to do is not to focus so much on errors that you will end up making anyway. Focus on expressing your ideas, meeting your minimum word count, and putting down relevant and high-quality content. These should be at the forefront. After you have conclusively done these, embark on your editing spree and do it ruthlessly. Don’t leave a stone unturned. Writing first and editing later makes you more objective and organized in your work. When you are more objective in your work, your productivity automatically increases.
6. Goal Setting
In life, it is vital to set goals for yourself, your business, your family, your career, and any other area you would want to achieve success at. These goals are various and normally have a short term and long term horizons. The need to accomplish these goals is the key motivator for any activity that we do in these areas of our lives. Thus, you will find yourself inclined to certain actions since they closely resonate with your goals. If you’re a writer, you too can have goals. With regard to writing, the various goals you can set may include:
- How many articles to write
- Duration of writing of each article
- Due times in which each article should be completed
- Minimum word count
- Targeted income per article
Therefore, having such goals makes you more objective in your work. Objectivity, on the other hand, increases your productivity. You will be driven to achieve each of your goals with or without compromise. Hence, your writing becomes more efficient and effective. Efficient in the sense that you utilize the available inputs you have for writing maximum amount of text, whereas effective in the sense that you are able to meet the intended purpose and objectives of your write-up. You inculcate in yourself the necessary discipline to be more productive.
7. Acquaint Yourself with Superior Content Writing Skills and Techniques
In order to improve your content, you can employ these tips:
- Use plenty of links. Linking your article to similar reads is always a smart move. Always place hyperlinks on the keywords and keyword phrases to related content. You can do this strategically by placing them at the beginning and the end of the article.
- Do not be overly verbose. We know you have to reach that minimum word count but being overly wordy is not the way to go. Instead use short precise statements that convey your intended meaning.
- Focus on geo-specific keywords for niche areas. Your target audience might be in a specific geographical location. Therefore your content ought to be more geo-specific for it to be good. This will help your readers and clients to get your content more easily when they search for it.
- Outsourcing. At times, your workload may become too much to bear. Even if you are highly industrious, there will be times when you will inevitably have to outsource. If you decide to go this way, here are good companies to outsource writers from:
They both have broad services such as proofreading, editing, custom writing, and general rewriting. They are both good options if you have a lot of writing to do but you do not have enough time to edit.
- Employ the use of graphics.
While your main item of trade is words, do not downplay the power of images and graphics. Images appeal to the mind of a reader better than words. Moreover, they convey the message much faster than words. You can use Canva or Powtoon platforms to design your images.
8. Reward Yourself After a Great Achievement
One good turn deserves another. It’s always good for you to reward yourself after achieving a particular set goal. It is a good way of motivating yourself to reach greater heights in your work. There are many ways in which you can reward yourself. For example, if you managed to finish a certain article in less than half of the time you were given to write it, go treat yourself to your favorite snack or dish. You could even buy a new gadget that you’ve always wanted as a gift to yourself.
Always have that routine of rewarding yourself after a great milestone in your writing. Rewarding yourself constantly will act as a motivating factor, especially after completing a major task. Bear in mind that highly motivated people are more productive. Hence, the more you reward yourself, the more productive you will be. It’s a win-win situation.
These 8 golden tips are sure to improve your writing productivity. Apply them and see for yourself the positive changes that they will bring to your writing.