Why More is Not Always Better: Tips for Managing a Challenging Workload
Reliability, accuracy, professionalism, and a steadfast commitment to excellence. These are some of the traits which serve to define a Textbroker author. Not only are such writers able to pull off the seemingly impossible when dealing with challenging subjects, but they will often far exceed the initial expectations of the client. However, this can come with a price. Authors who gain a reputation for their steadfast work ethic tend to receive a large volume of work. Due to this very same perfectionist nature, they will often attempt the impossible in order to keep clients happy. While indeed a noble trait, this situation can take its toll. Quality, completion times and client-writer communications may be sacrificed. This is why it is critical to appreciate how to manage a taxing workload. Let's take a look at some proven tips and tricks.
For the sake of argument, let us imagine that you have recently received 20 Direct Orders from a handful of different clients. Assuming that all are due within the next few days, which ones should be completed first? You will need to take into account a handful of variables:
- Which clients send the most work.
- Which texts will require the most amount of research.
- The length of the orders and how many can realistically be addressed within a given time frame.
As the blog at PlayVox notes, it is important to take a brief step back in order to better appreciate which projects need to be completed first. Furthermore, it is wise to begin long and complicated texts when your mind is “fresh” so that the content will flow more easily.
Look Out for the Warning Signs of Writer’s Fatigue
Even the most prolific writer is not superhuman, so there is no use trying to prove that you are. This will only result in poor quality and you might even sacrifice the loyalty of the client as a result. Here are some sure-fire signs that you are suffering from writer’s fatigue:
- Unclear and muddled thinking.
- The inability to determine the correct vocabulary and sentence structure.
- Common grammatical areas (errors…see?) that you would normally not make.
- Numerous HTML and/or punctuation issues.
- Frustration and negative thinking when tackling a project.
You will need to overcome these scenarios by allowing yourself a bit of proverbial breathing room. Also, remember that there is nothing wrong with asking a client to provide you with a bit more time. This is a much better strategy than producing substandard work that will need to be modified in the form of a revision request.
Break Up Your Time Frame
Even the sharpest of knives will quickly dull with constant use. In the same way, try to plan your schedule so that you can take at least a ten-minute break every hour. Not only will this give your mind a chance to unravel any mental “knots” that may have occurred due to dissecting a complicated subject, but it is just as important when writing a series of repetitive texts about familiar topics. Know the difference between endurance and refusing to admit that you require a slight respite.
Know When to Expect an Increase in Orders and Plan Accordingly
Any writer who has worked with Textbroker for an appreciable amount of time is likely aware that orders tend to come in cycles. While there are naturally exceptions to this rule, the beginning and the end of the month are normally associated with a sudden influx of projects. Try to be prepared for these frenetic periods and plan your schedule accordingly. It may even be a good idea to keep track of your past workload by creating a graph which illustrates how many orders were received each day over a period of time. You will clearly see a number of peaks and troughs. If you are able to anticipate the busier times, you will be capable of coping with such requests.
While some professions thrive on multitasking, the same cannot be said in regards to content creation. Never get into the habit of simultaneously writing numerous articles. The human brain is designed in such a way as to temporarily adapt to a certain topic. Shifting between different subjects is a sure-fire way to become confused and stymied. Focus on one project or series of articles (such as those requested by the same client) before moving on. As the bloggers at Lifehack point out, multitasking will create more problems than solutions in the long run.
Audit Your Writing Time
This might seem like a strange suggestion at first glance, but it can make a massive difference in terms of negotiating a heavy workload. Ask yourself how your time is segmented during a specific writing session. Some variables that should be taken into account include:
- Researching the subject.
- Dealing with HTML requirements.
- Communicating back and forth with the client.
- Revisions and editing.
Are you devoting an inordinate amount of time to one of these requirements? If so, the chances are high that you could very well be placing too much priority upon one action while sacrificing the others. Although there is no doubt that issues such as research and proofreading are important, be sure that they do not eat into your schedule to the point that your efficiency is compromised.
Do Not Accept Numerous Orders at the Same Time
This next suggestion is rather subjective, as it will involve metrics such as the topic of the requests as well as your familiarity with the subject. Still, accepting too many at once can quickly lead to a writing bottleneck. Although it may be tempting in terms of keeping the client happy, this mistake could very well lead to a breakdown in efficiency and ultimately, the dreaded “Customer has a change request” email.
Speak Directly With the Clients and Explain Your Schedule
Some writers (myself included) will often experience a certain amount of trepidation when faced with the notion of asking a client for more time when completing a specific article. Whether due to a sense of perfectionism or pride, we may feel that such a request will force the customer to look elsewhere. On the contrary, this enquiry is more likely to demonstrate that you care about the finished product. Never be afraid to ask for a few extra days if you begin to feel overwhelmed.
There is little honour in burning yourself out for the sake of earning a bit of extra money at the end of a pay cycle. Please keep the suggestions above in mind and above all, remember that content creation should be fun as well as productive!
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.