Managing Your Writing

By Shields, Cydney | Management World, Winter 1992 | Go to article overview

Managing Your Writing


Shields, Cydney, Management World


When most professionals think of managing something, they think of time, stress or money. Few think of writing. Ask a colleague if they manage their writing, and they might respond, "No, either I do it or I don't." Between meetings, scheduling, planning activities, and managing resources, many professionals find themselves trying to do their writing on the run. No wonder sales for books like the One Minute Manager remain strong.

Has your writing time gotten away from you, or is it on the verge of going bankrupt? Is getting through the maze of required writing tasks creating tension between you and your boss? When your reports aren't late, do you just manage to get them in on time? If you answered yes to any of the above, you may feel your writing time is out of control.

Before clearing the way for writing, it helps to conduct an inventory to discover what's blocking your writing. Is it you, too much work, not enough time or a lack of resources? Determine to overcome that rushed feeling by putting the breaks on your hurried writing and making better use of your time. While you may insist that you don't have another minute to squeeze in your day, you also may be guilty of time wasting. Some of writing's time waster's are:

* Fear of writing. Everyone has a tendency to avoid things they dread. For those of us with a history of writing failures, avoidance may have become the way out. So, when the writing gets tough, we push it to the side.

* No sense of direction. Writing aimlessly is like driving a car and not knowing where you're going. When the final period is recorded, you're forced to start again. From the beginning, you dind't map out where you were going. As a result, your writing got off its track.

* Graduate of the "Never write a memo, never throw one away" school of thought. Do you miss your deadlines because you can't decide what needs to be written? Writting does take time, but it will take less time if you keep your objectives in mind.

* Time bankruptcy. The slightest interruptions can prevent the best of managers from writing. These may include getting a longer pad from the supply cabinet to making another phone call. Before you realize it, your day is gone and the writing still undone.

* Overextended. Some of us are guilty of having to do it all despite the fact that we have days consumed with juggling various tasks responsibilities. As a result, our writing, jobs are most likely the first ones dropped.

* Procrastination. Are you a sidetracked writer, someone who always finds another excuse for not writing? The longer writing is put off, the more stressful it becomes to beat the clock and catch a deadline.

Don't keep writing off your writing!

With a little time recycling and following these quick tips, you'll be sure to put your words in motion:

1. Becomes more conscious of time wasters. Review those already discussed, and determine others that hinder you. Remember, if you let your writing go until the last minute, you'll probably have to eliminate time that you need for some other task. …

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