Productivity Tips: The Copywriter Edition
If you’re into writing and fancy becoming a copywriter, the idea of crafting words for a living will be rather attractive.
I completely get that, and can confirm that being a professional copywriter is a fantastic career choice, but it requires one thing in abundance: focus.
Without focus, you’ll quickly lose sight of the project on which you’re working and watch helplessly as timescales slip. That means less opportunity to earn a decent income and – worse – a trail of unhappy customers.
The answer to gaining and retaining your focus as a copywriter lies in a number of productivity tricks, and in this post, I’ve listed those that have made the biggest difference to my work.
Get shot of email – completely
Email is still a highly useful form of communication, but too much of it and your inbox starts to takeover.
Whenever you get down to the business of writing, turn off your email client, and do so on every single device you own. That means clicking the ‘x’ on your computer and turning off notifications on your mobile devices (actually – leave them off for good).
Your inbox won’t go anywhere and email isn’t a method by which people can grab your attention – never forget that.
Don’t just write
I’m a big fan of combining traditional copywriting with modern forms of content.
Because most copywriters create content for the web, their work is often complemented with other mediums such as audio and video. The latter, in particular, is something we can all try our hands at, because video marketing is a lot easier than you might think.
By mixing words with other forms of content, you’ll become more inspired and, as a result, more productive.
Take frequent breaks
One of the most important things I do every day is take frequent breaks. Be it a thirty minute dog walk or hour-long trip to the gym, the more time I spend away from the keyboard, the fresher my mind becomes.
Try it. If you can no longer see the wood for the trees and feel that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, get up and do something else. You’ll return with a whole new perspective on whatever it is you’re writing.
Try distraction-free writing
The downside of the technical wizardry we now have at our disposal is that it’s full of distractions.
Take your laptop; if that’s your writing tool of choice, it does an awful lot more than imitate a word processor. You’ll be constantly peppered with notifications and suffer from the ever-present threat of a ‘quick browse’ on YouTube.
Equally, the menu bars in writing applications such as Microsoft Word can be just as distracting. It’s for this reason that distraction-free writing is a popular productivity technique for writers.
If your word processing software offers a ‘focus’ mode or similar – try it. Alternatively, grab your iPad and give an app like IA Writer a go – it’s fabulous.
Final tip: Batch-check your notifications
So, what about all those backed-up emails, text messages and social media notifications? When do you get to deal with them during your time in productivity nirvana?
The answer is simple: batch-check your notifications and emails. Schedule a time each day (twice should do it) to spend ten minutes or so going through everything you’ve missed.
And you know what? You’ll find you won’t have upset a single person by getting back to them a little later than planned!
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.