Want Time to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick? Read This…

Want Time to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick? Read This…

I can help you with your New Year’s resolutions by helping you get back some of your most precious resource: time. Now, why on earth am I bringing up New Year’s Resolutions in late January? Because this is about the time of the month when we start to go from ambitious enthusiasm to wondering if setting those goals were such a good idea in the first place (as the gym parking lot meme shows). But we do set them! Millions of us set goals for the new year, and then most of us fail at them within the first week or month. I’m no...
Wasted Writing at Work: How the Four Rs Can Save Us

Wasted Writing at Work: How the Four Rs Can Save Us

We waste too much time writing and reading confusing communications at work. The four Rs can save us from ourselves. Once upon a time, we referred to the three Rs that kids learned in school: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. Today as adults in the 21st century who write at work, we need to focus on the four Rs: Re-read Remove Replace Rewrite And we need to starting now. Because time’s a wastin’ and we have better things to do. Why You Need the Four Rs As I’ve written about elsewhere, we are wasting $400 billion every single year...
Above All, Seek to Understand When Writing at Work

Above All, Seek to Understand When Writing at Work

Seek to understand. It sounds a bit like advice you’d get from a karate kid movie or Yoda, right? (Wait. Did I just date myself?) But it’s sound advice for anyone trying to communicate—especially when writing at work. It takes longer to make the effort to understand as opposed to knee-jerk reactions, but it saves time in the end. Not only that, seeking to understand can improve workplace communications. In his article titled How do you improve workplace communication? Ask questions, writer Michael Bungay Stanier explains that we shy...
Writing at Work? Avoid Putting Words into a Blender! Here’s How…

Writing at Work? Avoid Putting Words into a Blender! Here’s How…

Do you remember the song Inside Out by Eve 6 from a few years back? It was playing over the sound system at the grocery store last week and I’ve had it stuck in my head ever since, especially the line about putting “my tender heart into a blender, watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion.” Sometimes writers seem to put their words into a blender and watch them spin around into a not-so-beautiful oblivion. And, sad to say, the higher up the corporate food chain, the more likely this mess of words tends to be. I say this because I...
Writing at Work: Cut the Clutter. Keep the Kindness

Writing at Work: Cut the Clutter. Keep the Kindness

How you say something is as important as what you say, so learn to cut the clutter but keep the kindness when writing at work. Writing clearly at work is not simply a matter of stripping your message down to the bare bones. It’s learning to identify the clutter that gets in the way of communication. We must remember that a human being is on the receiving end. And therefore we must write with respect and consideration…which means removing the bullshit or clutter. But if you strip away too much, you go too far. You’ve removed the...
How to Write Fast: 5 Ways to Write Faster, not Sloppier

How to Write Fast: 5 Ways to Write Faster, not Sloppier

Looking for tips on how to write fast? Read on for five suggestions for writing faster without making more mistakes. As someone teaching workplace writing skills, I see again and again the impact of our hurry-up work world on the quality of writing. And although I will continue to preach slowing down, for all kinds of reasons, the truth is that many people still prefer to hurry through tasks. On the surface, this rushing through the workday might seem to equal productivity when it often has the opposite result. As an article at...