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Write More In Less Time: Batch Process Your Articles

Posted By Steve Shaw On September 14, 2009 @ 12:00 am In Article Marketing Tips,Article Marketing Writing,Productivity for Writers | 22 Comments

You can batch process articles (or donuts!) [1]

You can batch process articles (or donuts!)

Without realizing it, I have been ‘batch processing’ for years, a concept that I learned from David Allen (author of the book “Getting Things Done”).

I’ve been doing this with great success on my email–instead of checking it a gazillion times a day (or letting that “incoming mail” chime drag me away from what I’m trying to concentrate on every time a new message hits the inbox), I designated scheduled email checking times.

I check it in the morning and in the afternoon. Each time I check I deal with all the emails in there. I turned off the “incoming mail” notification thingy to eliminate distractions. I started batch processing emails–doing bunches at one sitting instead of one here and one there.

Email used to take over my life–it just took forever and I felt like as soon as I got the box cleared out more came pouring in. I’m sure you can relate!

But I’m telling you, when I started batch processing emails, everything changed.

What Is Batch Processing?

It’s sort of like putting a task on a conveyor belt–like in the photo above, instead of dipping donuts in the glaze one at a time, it’s much more efficient just to line them up and pour the glaze over a bunch of donuts all at once.

You can do it with email, and you can do it with articles too!

A More Productive Way To Write

It didn’t really occur to me to transfer this productivity method to writing articles until I saw Darren Rowse at Problogger [2] talking about how he batch processes blog posts.

The ‘batch processing’ method is simple:

Batch processing articles involves writing several articles in one day.

Instead of eking out one article here and another there, you have designated days of the week that are “writing days”.

I can write 4+ articles a day now (about 2500 words), and I find that writing successive articles helps me get into a writing groove that enables me to write faster.

How To Batch Process Articles

1. Pick your day(s) to write.

Now, if you’re writing 8 articles a month, then you only need to have these writing days a few days a month–imagine getting all of your writing done for the month in a couple days!

2. Set aside a block of time that is just for writing–try 4 or 5 hours.

3. Write offline–the idea is to give your full concentration to your writing. Writing offline will keep you away from email, Twitter, IMs and the like.

4. Pre-determine your article topics.

Just sit down before your writing session (or at the beginning of the month, or whenever), and start brainstorming article topics. Choose topics from that list for your articles. This saves bunches of time, since one of the hardest things is coming up with ideas of what to write about [3].

5. I always come up with an informal outline [4] before I really start writing–I think that makes things progress faster.

6. Keep snacks handy.

We are all capable of sitting for 4-5 hours and working on a project, but I know that if I start to get hungry, I need to eat. And if I get up to go to the kitchen to get something to eat, then it may be a while before I get myself back to my desk. The solution for me staying focused on the task at hand is to keep snacks within reach–coffee on the desk, pretzels, anything that I can quickly pick up and eat/drink.

7. Have word count limits/goals.

This helps considerably, as if you don’t have a limit on how long your article will be, you can write and write and write and take up all 5 hours just on one article!

Here are some word count goals for you to try:

400-600 word articles

600-800 word articles

If you like, you can try out that short & snappy article [5] method I told you about recently.

You Can Expect These Benefits

*Writing for an extended period of time gives you the chance to get on a roll–one article may spawn another article idea, or you may realize that one idea is too big to cover in just one article and you can neatly transition into your next article continuing the thoughts of the previous one.

Writing “on a roll” can help give your articles a sense of cohesion–one builds on the next, rather than just being a series of one-offs.

*You will be working more efficiently if you “batch process” things.

You aren’t constantly being pulled away to do other things, so that helps you get whatever activity you’re working on done more quickly. When you hop from activity to activity, it is very hard to complete anything. This batching method is really geared toward completion of tasks.

*It is just plain satisfying to crank out several articles in a day. What a feeling of accomplishment!

*You can relax more. When you know you will be writing 4 or so articles on your designated day, it frees you to relax the rest of the month.

Your Homework

  • Experiment with batch processing your articles this month.
  • Aim to get 4 articles done in one writing session.

Then, let me know how it goes…

Photo: pochacco20 [1]

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere" [7]

Article printed from Article Marketing Blog: Creative Article Marketing: http://www.submityourarticle.com/creative-article-marketing

URL to article: http://www.submityourarticle.com/creative-article-marketing/writing-productivity/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pochacco20/59141976/

[2] Problogger: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/06/12/how-batch-processing-made-me-10-times-more-productive/

[3] ideas of what to write about: http://www.submityourarticle.com/creative-article-marketing/2009/05/07/article-writing-how-to-find-great-topics/

[4] an informal outline: http://www.submityourarticle.com/creative-article-marketing/2008/11/24/write-articles-lightning-fast-with-an-outline/

[5] short & snappy article: http://www.submityourarticle.com/creative-article-marketing/2009/07/30/how-to-write-a-short-article/

[6] Tweet: https://twitter.com/share

[7] The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere": http://blog.vwriter.com

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