How To Stay Focused Even If You’re A Web Content Writer

It Ain’t Easy

If you are a web content writer or anyone whose work requires using the internet, you are probably having some issues with staying focused. You’re not alone. When I first started paying attention to my time and task management I was shocked at the time I had been wasting (see my previous post on Lost Time). Here’s some advice that I think might help…

Self Control

I’d harbor a guess that if you’re a writer-type self control and discipline are not some of your finest points. Maybe I’m wrong, but then you wouldn’t keep reading this article so the point is really moot. Either way, you are going to need to exercise self control if you want to maximize your efficiency.

Here’s How:

Step 1. Value your time. Most of us do not interchange money and time. Actually the valuation of time and money seem to be at opposing ends. Consider the ultra-frugal shopper who will spend five hours a week clipping coupons and another five hours visiting every store that’s having a sale just to buy a few days’ groceries. Figure out a realistic hourly rate that your time is worth and start to think of time and money as equally valuable.

Step 2. Track your time. Keep a running clock going at all times and spend a couple weeks tracking how long it takes you to complete the tasks on your daily to-do list. Wait…what? You don’t have a daily to do list? Make one. Now.

Step 3. Calculate wasted time. Now add up how much time you wasted during the days you tracked in step 2 and multiply it by the value you figured out in step 1. Ouch, right? Use this as motivation for going into step 4.

Step 4. Unplug. That’s right, unplug. Shut down your email programs, instant messengers (yes, Skype and Twitter too) and any unnecessary web pages. Only allow yourself access to the information you need to write the web content you’re currently working on. Trust me, it’ll be okay. The withdrawal symptoms should die down in a week or two.

Step 5. Be accountable. Decide how long each task should take to complete and time yourself. Just having a ticking clock helps to keep your mind on the task at hand. Focus Booster is one of my favorite all-time apps and it’s free. It’s a simple desktop timer that gives a visual prompt letting you know time is running out. Great for deadline junkies (those who only do their best work under pressure…you know who you are.)

No Shame

There is no shame in having to fool yourself into working more efficiently. The fact is, life’s short. Spending half the time to write the same amount of web content is the equivalent of giving yourself a 50 percent raise. Think of what you could do with all that extra money / time. Now, time to get back to work. Good luck!

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