Try These Writing and Editing Processes… Your Time Is Money

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In the long run, separating the writing and editing process, setting a timer just to write, and avoiding distractions can end up saving you time and money.  We’re all busy and try to multitask everything we do, but sometimes it just doesn’t pay to try to combine doing everything at one time because we end up going back and starting over again. When I write, I find I need my brain’s undivided attention!

Write First; Edit Second.

One common trait many writers and authors wrestle with is disconnecting the writing and editing process.  I struggled with this for years; if I knew something was not correct while writing or typing, I immediately went back and corrected it so I wouldn’t forget to change it later, but realized at some point that I was losing time, and let’s face it, time is money. After years of doing this, I finally started writing the article or blog, etc. and then editing. “Letting go” of this was excruciating for me, to say the least! My advice: Put all your thoughts down on paper or type them on the computer and then revise the grammar, duplication of word usage, incorrect spelling, etc.

Wait to Write Your Introduction.

Introductions are hard to write so if you struggle with your introduction just start writing your first key point from your outline and then after you write your chapter, article, blog, etc. go back and compose your introduction.

Set a Timer.

I’ve mentioned this before in different “writings” but it’s a great habit to start no matter what type of business you are working with; i.e., coaches, speakers, lawyers, Fortune 500, etc. When you determine the length of time you want to write, set a timer and write. You decide the amount of time – 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes – it’s up to you, but during this time, until the buzzer sounds – write. Focus on writing; no checking email, making phone calls, checking Twitter or Facebook, cleaning off your desk, etc. Write.

Keep Moving.

What? I mean keep writing even if you want to edit as you are writing. This is one habit I have really worked on; however, it’s a struggle, but I have found that if I keep writing and edit later, I do save time. I have a system for notes or information I don’t want to forget about; I highlight the area and mark it with bold letters. You could try this or write a note to yourself or use {brackets} to record your notes and come back later and edit the material.

DD – Duck Distractions!

It’s difficult enough to write when you aren’t interrupted, but constant interference can play havoc with your writing progress. Some helpful hints to DD:

  • Tell people you are writing and need to concentrate; give them the hours you are not available.
  • Turn off Skype, Twitter updates, your cell phone, office phone ringer, etc.
  • Find a quiet place – a place you can close the door, or perhaps a go to a quiet park or the beach.
  • Put on a pair of headphones – people will think you are listening to something (even if you aren’t) and less likely to disturb you.

I post tips and suggestions on Facebook and received the following comments from two people:

Introductions: Michelle Campbell from Forte Virtual Support Solutions:

“This is a great tip, Colleen. I always do this. I rarely start from the beginning and finish at the end. I jump around from section to section and point to point, especially when I get inspired to discuss a particular point. It’s much more difficult to write if you force yourself to stick to an outline you create.”

DD – Duck Distractions: Patti Cooper from Big Sky Social Media Management:

“I find it very difficult to concentrate when working from home, there’s always someone around. I usually just go in the bedroom and close the door. But the headphone idea is a great one. I’ll be trying that now, thanks for sharing!”

What steps do you take to Duck Distractions?

My tip for you – keep moving along when you write, and edit when you have finished your article, blog, chapter, etc. See what happens. You might find you are more productive and the system works better than editing as you write.  What are some of your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Colleen

Launching Your Products and Services – Part 3

plane soaring

Organizing Your Business for Future Success!

Every day is a day for growth and in the past few days we’ve completed lots of tasks to ensure our company’s successful development! After a few days’ work and meetings, we finalized the Organization Chart for M. Colleen Wietmarschen Co.

One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make is they do not have a clear sense of responsibilities for each person in their company. By creating an Organization Chart you can avoid confusion and miscommunication moving forward.

To start, I thought about all the services we provide to our customers and the daily tasks of running the company so we stay organized, such as payroll and marketing. From there, I established branches of our company that deal with each area. For example, I set up a finance branch, a project branch, a marketing branch, and a human relations branch.

All the branches have different roles so it only made sense to have a President. The President deals with the day-to-day operations of the business and keeps the company on the correct path. Next, I added an Owner role above the President. The Owner works closely with the President but not necessarily in the daily operations; however, the Owner guides the company through other processes such as directing the company towards its vision and mission.

Under each branch there are different roles that need to be filled. You can’t just have a payroll department if you don’t have an accounts receivable department. So then I filled in each department with roles that need to be met in order to make each department function as a complete unit. For example, under the Vice President of Operations I listed that there needs to be a Project Manager. The Project Manager cannot complete all the tasks by themselves so underneath them I listed Team Member, i.e., writer, graphic designer, web designer, etc. I followed suit with the other branches as well.

By setting up these branches I clearly delineated where responsibilities fell. Now you may be telling yourself that you are too small of a company and you don’t need this. I will tell you that every company needs this. It clearly defines what each person needs to do and it allows your company to grow within a clearly defined structure. It is true that in the beginning you might have one person filling two or three roles, maybe even more, but as you grow, duties are in place so others can easily step into a predefined role.

After the chart was created, I saw what jobs were within the structure and needed to be filled. We had a meeting to discuss the job description for each position. This further clarified the responsibilities each person is required to complete. Again, in the beginning you might have to fill multiple roles with the same person but as your company grows and you add employees (or subcontractors) their duties are easily identified.

Do you have an organizational chart in place? If not, can you see how this tool can be a great asset for your company’s success!

Peter M. Wietmarschen

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://mcolleenwietmarschen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Pete-sax-2014-4-use.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Peter, a 2014 graduate of Morehead State University’s Caudill College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He strives to express his thoughts and ideas in a creative and professional manner. Peter is our Vice President of Operations and Marketing and a contributing writer on our site. He enjoys writing blogs which provide helpful information to readers as well as general business practices and more! [/author_info] [/author]