Multitasking for Writers: Composing More Words Without Compromising Quality
You have a few important projects, all of which need to be completed by around the same time. How do you tackle all of these deadlines successfully, without compromising the quality of any of them?
Below are a few of our tested tips, especially applicable for writers — from students to authors — who are juggling a full workload.
When working on several writing projects (or one big project) at once, the huge quantity of material that we collect can quickly pile up and become overwhelming. Create color-coded, clearly labelled folders for each project in order to neatly store your material. This will prevent your desktop from becoming cluttered with a pool of unidentifiable PDFs.
Spreadsheets Are Our Friends
Especially for professional writers, it can be hard to keep tabs on all of the assignments that we’re juggling simultaneously. Use this simple solution to guarantee that nothing slips through the cracks: create a “work progress chart” in which you list your assignments and a brief description, including the word count, due date and the amount to be paid. It could be helpful to have another file, which documents your finished, published works. If they are published online, you should of course add the links in order to access them easily.
Give Yourself Different Deadlines
Let’s say you have three different papers to be submitted on Friday. In your calendar assign yourself earlier, self-imposed deadlines, with the most challenging of the papers “due” first. Your draft may not be perfect, but you will have more time to go back and smooth out any problems before submitting it.
Find a Writing Buddy
If you don’t have an official advisor it can help to have a fellow classmate or friend in the same boat who you can report your progress to each day or every other day. Being accountable, in small chunks, can make it easier to take the small steps needed to achieve a bigger goal.
List What You Need to Do
At the end of each day, make a list of what you would like to accomplish the next day. Often, making such a to-do list, when we’re feeling the least energetic, can give us a more realistic and practical sense of what we can achieve than if we had written it first thing in the morning.
Yep, we’re all guilty of putting off things we should do now – well, maybe tomorrow, or the day after. To be more efficient, tackle the small tasks of a project that you can do in seven minutes. This will leave yourself with more time and room for the longer, more complex parts of the project afterwards.
“Eating the Frog” in the Morning
Some days are so busy that we don’t even know where to begin. When you start them by “eating the frog”, or working on the most difficult part of a project first thing in the morning, you’ll receive a psychological boost which will help you glide through the day.
Paradoxically, sometimes the best way to multitask is to not multitask at all. Like most computer processing systems, if we try to do two tasks simultaneously, we sacrifice both the quick speed and high concentration which we would otherwise have if we invested our time in just one task. Instead, devote a “power hour” to one assignment before switching back to the other. Or, schedule half or full days in your calendar to devote the time, energy and brainpower to one assignment.
Become more mellow with Mellel
A lot of time and thought goes into producing top quality writing. You shouldn’t also have to invest hours fixating on the formatting of a monster thesis or tediously spell checking multiple languages in a multilingual document. That’s where Mellel steps in to perfect your paper’s presentation — and save your precious time — so that you can focus on the bigger stuff, like your fantastic research and final product.