If I were to guess what one of your biggest obstacles to writing regular, quality content, I would say it’s carving out the time and mind space to do so. Am I right?
Here are some strategies you may have attempted in the past to consistently pump out content:
Reserving one whole day a week to write.
Carving out an hour each day in between meetings, checking emails, making phone calls, and other tasks, for just writing.
Forcing yourself to write a thousand or so words each day.
If any one of these strategies has worked for you and you feel you are perpetually writing strong content, then awesome! However, if none of these strategies have worked for you, or if you’ve never attempted a daily/weekly writing strategy, then you may be truly perplexed as to how to maximize and manage your writing time and attention.
There is scientific evidence that shows that most of us have only a limited amount of single-mindedness that we can exercise in any given day, and on average that it’s only a few hours a day. Even peak performers max out at about 4-4.5 hours of concentrated work, whether we’re talking about chess players, surgeons, dancers, writers, etc.
This would certainly explain why reserving an entire day for writing (or any other project for that matter) can backfire and lead to burnout. Plus, why only putting aside an hour or less may be constricting your creative process.
So, whether you have multiple short writing projects due over the next couple of days or you have a long-form piece, like a blog or white paper, due in a couple of weeks, @karen suggests trying a new approach. Find two to three-hour openings in your schedule and reserve this time for writing. As important, during this time, turn off the most common distractors, email, text, social, and even close your door to coworkers. As productivity expert Jocelyn K Glei [KI1] says, “If you want to create something worthwhile…you need to draw a line between the world’s demands and your own ambitions.”
Author's Note: This article was originally written in my role as Chief Content Officer for Lisa Baker Associates.