5 Steps to Enhance Your Content Under Time Constraints

We’ve all heard the mantra “Content is king”. Nowadays everyone benefits from enhancing their storytelling skill to communicate to a variety of audience: customers, investors, employers, followers, classmates, etc. However, any good story requires a significant investment of time and effort. The question is: how can we best utilize our time to build our stories when everyone has time constraints in the real world?

As a passionate writer and content creator, I’d like to share my list of 5 steps writers would find helpful to follow when they work with strict deadlines. Feel free to add your tips to the comment area.

1. Know your story inside out
Don’t write, spend time outlining/drawing/verbalizing your story first. Make sure you can tell your story without referring back to the text. This applies to any format of storytelling.

2. Short is better than long
My favorite principle from White and Strunk’s “The Elements of Style”: Omit needless words. Before you add an argument, ask yourself: does it matter? Longer drafts prolong the editing part later on.

3. Visuals
While humans process visuals faster than textual information, visuals are often not the point of the story you’re trying to tell. Use relevant visuals to add weight to your argument. If you’re in need of visuals only to beautify a story, leave it at the end or leave it out completely if you’re running out of time. Pure text on a white background can be powerful.

4. Take a break
“But the deadline is tomorrow!”, you say. As contradictory as it seems, taking a break might just be the best thing you can do to your story creation process under time constraints. It enables your brain to go back to your work later on with a fresh look. Even 15 minutes help tremendously.

5. Have someone read your story, if you can
Sometimes we don’t have that friend to look over what we’re writing when the memo has to be sent out in 2 hours. In every other case, having a reader/editor will at least help you uncover stupid spelling mistakes or oddly phrased arguments.

Also published on LinkedIn.

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My background: I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2012 with a dual degree in economics and statistics. I began my career at ICF International where I focus on oil and gas market analysis for clients in the finance, energy, and government sectors. Views here are my own.