Thursday, May 5, 2011

Work Hacks: Writing During Breaks

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As you’ve probably figured out, I like to utilize my breaks for more than just hanging out and relaxing. Though sometimes I do relax and read, and I enjoy surfing the internet during lunch as much as the next person, I prefer being productive.

You may wonder how I’m able to manage a blog while having a full-time job, an infant, a husband, a mid-reno home, and the plethora of projects I work on. Here it is - I do some of my blog writing during my breaks. This helps me write posts ahead of time and schedule them to post at 12:30 every day. That’s a very strategic move on my part, as I wouldn’t be able to put something together every single morning or evening.

My method is this:

When I get an idea for a post, I make a mental note, jot down a few key words on a piece of paper, or make a note on my cell phone.

Then I mentally draft the post while I do fun things like data management, filing, or one of the other mindless but necessary tasks that make up a sizable chunk of my job. (Oh, the thrills.)

Once I have a good idea of what I want to say and how I want to say it, I start to write it out during a break (generally lunch). If I finish the post in one sitting then I’m pretty impressed with myself. Normally I have two or three ideas that I partially write (this is one such post, the other one I started drafting was about exercising during breaks), getting enough down that I can go back later and finish writing and proofing the post in 5-10 minutes.

Once or twice a week I’ll use part of my lunch hour to proof and schedule the finished posts, adding photos, etc.

I schedule all of my posts to go live at 12:30pm so that if I need to make a last minute change, or if I plan on writing a fresh post for that day, I have time at the beginning of my lunch hour to do so.

This works really well for me and my situation. I’m able to be productive during leisure time – just today (and by today, I mean the day the majority of this post was written) for my lunch hour I exercised for 20 minutes, wrote for 20 minutes, and checked my personal email for 5 minutes. Now, I have 15 minutes left of my hour, so I’m going to wolf down that sandwich and do a little light reading. Time well spent!

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