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 Inc.com says, “Poor communication is a huge time-waster. A fast email transmitting bad instructions or an offensive attitude can end up adding many unnecessary hours to a project.”

Think about how many back-and-forth emails you sometimes deal with because information is missing or unclear. Now think about the time saved if only one email was needed. That’s the difference between taking the time to communicate well vs. pretending to communicate quickly.

“Poor communication is a huge time-waster.”

However, you can still speed up your writing, even when you’re aware that your goal is communication. Yes, I’m asking you to slow down and pay attention so your communication is clear and an efficient use of time (yours and your reader’s). Yet you can apply five tips on how to write fast in order to speed up your intentional writing.

And here they are…

How to Write Fast: 5 Tips to Get You There

  1. Make sure you know your goal from the start. When you take some time to think through what you hope to accomplish first, you spend less time writing because you are focused.
  2. Eliminate distractions. The more focused you are when writing, the faster you’ll write. See here for tips on avoiding distractions and here for reasons to put your cell phone away.
  3. Use placeholders when you need to look something up, like a number or a name, or when you can’t think of the right word. That way you can keep writing and remember to go back to it rather than interrupt your flow. When this happens to me, I avoid getting stuck by typing a few Xs, like xxxxxx. Then I go back afterwards to look up the missing information or think of the right word.
  4. If you’re not sure about a sentence or paragraph you already wrote, namely whether you need it or not, stop thinking about it. Instead, cut it and paste it into another document or window, rather than waste time wondering. Once you’re done writing, you’ll have a better idea about whether or not you need it.
  5. Edit after you write. Stay out of your own way when writing and know you’ll fix it later. Your brain is working hard to get all of your thoughts recorded and it works faster than your fingers. So let it go. Then go back and refine what you’ve written later, and proofread your final version.

Next? Make Your Writing Your Superpower

These five tips for how to write fast can be put to use right now, as in today, as soon as you’re done reading this blog post.

But you should also be learning stronger writing skills over the longer term because that will help you write both faster and better.

I say make your writing your superpower. Why? Because you’ll be more confident and you’ll tackle your writing with ease. Plus you’ll be more productive without spending more time on your writing or your work. You’ll consistently put your best self forward and you’ll be an asset to any team because of your ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

Who wouldn’t want superpowers like that? So use these tips above to write faster. But keep on learning and improving too. I’ll help.

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Sharon Ernst is a freelance editor and writer at www.weknowwords.com, a teacher and coach at www.betterfasterwriter.com. And a farmer and planet saver at www.literalroadfarm.com.