Are you working from home? Are you having to self-isolate? In this post, we share six top tips for business writers in lockdown.
How do business writers cope with working from home?
Some of us do work from home, but for many of us it’s a new experience. It can be quite unsettling to be disconnected from an office routine and the people you interact with every day.
This post offers six top tips for business writers in lockdown.
6 Top Tips For Business Writers In Lockdown
1. Communicate Clearly
Now more than ever is the time to make sure that everybody understands what you are saying. There is nobody in the office with whom you can share ideas or brainstorm. Make sure that you are writing in plain language in all your communications. It should be impossible for anybody to misunderstand what you are trying to say. Effective business writing uses plain language, has a purpose, and makes a point. It uses appropriate words in concise, accurate sentences. It also includes a clear call to action.
2. Complete The Checklist
Before you send a communication, answer these questions: 8 Basic Questions Business Writers Need To Ask. Use these eight questions to make sure that you are getting your work done properly and that you won’t have to repeat tasks because you’ve made silly mistakes. You are checking everything you do yourself now.
Make sure that you complete the most important tasks before lunch time. After you’ve completed your basic admin and answered early emails, settle down to the most important thing you have to do that day. Getting this out of the way will help you to keep control of your working life. The big tasks are often the ones we put off, and when you’re in the office you can moan about them with colleagues, but when you’re alone you have to deal with them – alone. So finish the presentation or the business plan or the report as early as possible. Use the afternoon to complete more reactive work. Also, write a to-do list for the next day. Use our Step-By-Step Guides For Business Writers if you need help with your writing and formatting.
4. Get Dressed
Take a shower and comb your hair. Put on some make-up if it makes you feel better. Get dressed. Those pyjamas may feel perfect for this lockdown, but it’s better if your mind thinks you’re dressed up for business. You don’t have to go overboard, but do get dressed. This will also help you avoid being caught out if a customer of a colleague needs a sudden Zoom or Skype meeting.
5. Create A Routine
This may sound obvious, but you need a routine now more than ever. So, wake up at the same time every day. Have breakfast. Sit down to work. Take a tea/coffee break. Get back to work. Take an hour for lunch. Carry on working. Switch off your work computer at the same time every day. Relax. Kurt Vonnegut had a strict routine when he wrote from home. He wrote to his wife: “I awake at 5.30, work until 8.00, eat breakfast at home, work until 10:00, walk a few blocks into town, do errands, go to the nearby municipal swimming pool, which I have all to myself, and swim for half an hour, return home at 11.45, read the mail, eat lunch at noon. In the afternoon I do schoolwork, either teach or prepare.” Obviously, we cannot go out during this time, but we can take a break or do some exercises indoors.
6. Keep In Contact
Stay in touch with colleagues. You can do this via WhatsApp or texts. Also make time for a weekly or bi-weekly online meeting via Zoom or Skype. This helps you to remember that you are not alone and that this will not go on forever. This can help break the monotony, help your creativity, and create a camaraderie during this new experience.
Remember that we will all learn new things and have new experiences during this time. Taking control of our business writing lives helps us to feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Another way to stay say during this time is by writing a journal during the lockdown. Read this post to help get you started: Why You Should Write About This Time
If you want to improve your business writing, buy The Complete Grammar Workbook.
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- Step-By-Step Guides For Business Writers
- Formatting Tips For Professional Writers
- 10 Formatting Tips To Make Your Online Text More User-Friendly
- 9 Things You Need To Do Before You Write A Business Document
- Why We Need To Put It In Writing
- 12 Super Subject Lines – A Cheat Sheet For Business Writers
- The Passive Voice Explained