Some people like to create plans and lists when it comes to the tasks related to web writing. While it may work for some, it actually hinders my personal writing process. Ditching plans and lists helps me get more done for many reasons.
Too much planning takes too much time. Most web writers who do this full time know that time is money. The longer you take to get each project or assignment done, the less you are making when calculated by the hour. Even if you’re not getting paid hourly, you should still calculate how much you will earn in an hour to determine which work is worth your time. The longer you take to plan, the less time you have to do the actual work. Some planning may be necessary but I find that for me it’s better to just do it.
Lists can be an unnecessary extra step. Since time can be of the essence, I like to get my work done as quickly as possible. This means that lists are often an unnecessary extra step. I already know what assignments I need to do. Taking time to make lists takes time away from the writing, research, editing, and other more important tasks that help me create quality work. I get the work done much faster if I skip writing a list of it and just dive right in. While lists may help some people stay organized, I’m better off skipping them and saving some time.
Organized email inboxes can create an automatic list and plan. By keeping my email inboxes sorted a certain way, lists and plans are obsolete. My email inbox consists of folders for each client, folders for new/incomplete orders, folders for completed work, and so on. There is a folder for each instance that may come up. I also have filters that automatically sort incoming emails and the emails from my several email addresses all get auto-forwarded to one Yahoo! Mail Plus inbox. What’s not auto-sorted can easily be dragged into the correct folder when appropriate. Because my inbox is so elaborately maintained, creating extra plans and lists would be a waste of time. I can just look in my inbox if I forget what I need to do next.
Quality work is what’s most important. Lists and plans are very low on the importance list when it comes to the work I provide for clients. The more time that’s wasted on planning and listing things, the less time I can spend on producing standout material. Most likely, clients will care less about how I planned the work than they will about what the finished material is like. I’m not saying that thought shouldn’t be put into the work. However, writing out a bunch of plans is generally unnecessary for me and can be a time suck. Just jumping right into the actual work has always been more effective for me. This way, I can spend more time creating and refining my web writing projects.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and what works for me may not work for another web writer. Do you ditch the planning and lists or do you need them in order to produce quality web content?
*Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this on Bubblews.com (no longer published there).