It is a common occurrence: you need to do a lot of writing in a relatively short amount of time. This may seem like a rather daunting and potentially stressful situation. Luckily, the simple act of bringing some organisation into your work can help you a lot in working more effectively and efficiently when a lot of writing needs to be done.
When faced with a massive amount of work it can often help to take a minute in advance to map out what exactly you will be doing. Writing is by no means an exception to this. Questions you can ask yourself include what kind of text you need to produce, for whom, why it needs to be written, as well as when it needs to be done by.
Specifically, we can focus on the what and the who questioned stated above. Knowing what kind of document you need to produce can help you a lot in establishing what exactly needs to be done in terms of writing and selecting information. A short note for example requires significantly fewer details and examples than a more elaborate briefing, let alone a long report. Tracking down and filtering the right information becomes significantly easier once you have determined the nature of the document.
For whom you are writing is also crucial in making your job just a tad bit easier. Putting yourself into your potential reader’s shoes makes it much easier to determine what exactly they need. What is it that they need to know? Are there things you can safely assume them to already be aware of? Only including the relevant information should save both you and your reader valuable time.
Pausing for a moment and asking yourself these very simple questions should give keep you from making many a common mistake.
What? Who? Why? Where? When? How?
Who is Alex?
Alex Townley is one of our key trainer at AIM & Associés. He delivers Writing with Impact and Writing with Impact while Teleworking the European school of administration. He can help you organise your writing when you are under stress, in order to report back to the hierarchy in a more efficient way.