Writing

Don’t think, write!

Are you afraid to publish your first blog article? Is that fear completely stopping you from writing or making the first step?

I know that you know enough to get started, but there’s something else stopping you.

Maybe it’s irrational fear, technology, over complication of the process, perfectionism, or thinking you can’t write.

Either way, I just want you to start, and the only barrier between you and writing your first word is a keyboard.

So my plea to you is to start writing today.

Don’t think, write!

Separate writing from publishing

A lot of people who would like to create content for their business are fixated on publishing, i.e. going live with every single piece of content they create, and this paralyses them from making a start.

I want you to know that you don’t have to publish everything you write. In fact, as you start to write more often, you’ll likely find that a lot of your writing doesn’t get published for one reason or another.

I don’t want you to pay any attention or think about the following things:

  • Keywords
  • Structure
  • Images
  • Publishing on social media
  • Sharing buttons
  • WordPress
  • Websites
  • Uploading
  • Aesthetics
  • Mobile responsive
  • Side bars
  • Subscription
  • RSS feeds

… and especially don’t think or care about what other people think.

Just forget about everything to do with the technical elements of content publication, and just write.

Simply put it all to one side, because it is not going to help you right now. Especially if you don’t have a single piece of content written. You can get around to all this technical stuff later, and there are plenty of people out there that can help you with it.

I want you to pretend that when you are writing, the door is closed and no one knows what you are doing.

Do it for yourself

The best thing you can do for you and your business right now is to quietly start writing. No one needs to know (well…you could email me and let me know), in fact, most people really don’t want to know – they don’t care.

So do it for yourself. Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do. Do it because you want to.

Trust me, you’ll really start to enjoy it.

Start today, start now!

Right now, for you, it’s all about writing.

If you want to improve and create great written content, you are going to have to start writing. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s the thing, everything starts in the written word. Every single piece of content I’ve created started as a written note in Evernote or my notebook.

Even video starts in the written on word as a script or a structure.

The sooner you start, the quicker you will get something out there. The more you write, the easier it will get and the better it will be.

Use an application like writingRitual.com for distraction free writing and without the worry of anyone reading what you write or if you ever publish it or not. It wil also help you get into the habit of writing 750 words per day.

Look at your schedule today – open up your diary.

Have you got a free hour today to open up your laptop, computer or note pad  and start writing? What about tonight? Early tomorrow morning? I know you can find an hour to make this happen, we all have pockets of time we can use if we really want to.

You and I both know that there’s only one person that can take this over the line for you… and that person is you.

Keep it simple, don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself, and get started!

… and most of all, have fun!

Don’t forget to be awesome!

Chris.

As a manager there is a good chance that you will be asked to write a performance review report for your relevant department(s). I have listed a few tips that should help you to structure and present a report in a professional way so that your report will be taken seriously and, if you are lucky, it will actually be read by your manager!

There are several benefits to writing management reports: –

  • Over time a collection of reports will prove as a great portfolio and growth measurement tool;
  • It’s a great opportunity to show your manager what you have achieved.

Report Preparation

The following considerations should be made prior to, and during, report writing: –

  1. Who is the report is for?
    1. How much do they already know about what you are writing about?
    2. Why do they want this information?
    3. Who else may possibly read it?
    4. What do they want to use the report for? (Consider any economic or political influences)
  2. Appeal to the stakeholders best interest, for example: –
    1. Profit
    2. Revenue
    3. Productivity/Achievement
    4. Sales growth
  3. Appropriate formatting should be applied
  4. Spelling and grammar should be checked
  5. Keep the report professional & factual as possible
  6. Keep the report as concise as you can

The Report Structure

Here is an example of what should be included in a management report: –

Front Cover
Title, author and date

 

Contents Page
Summary of contents

 

Summary/abstract
Contains a summary of the report.
Briefly comment on how you feel about the performance of the department to date.
A Small paragraph, enough to let the reader know the content and relevance of the report.

 

Expectations vs Reality
Include a comparison of your initial expectations and the most recent time frame (if it is a 3 month report then you would consider your objectives from 3 months ago and weight them against your current state)

 

Unit Performance
Provide a brief outline of the department/unit performance over the time period and provide reasoning for unexpected growth or decline/excellent or poor performance, etc. Provide charts and graphs if appropriate to illustrate your points.

 

Projection of Performance
Project performance for the next 3 months (or time period agreed by line manager) – provide reason why you believe this to be the correct projection.
Provide charts and graphs if appropriate.

 

Current Objectives
With reference to the last three months and achievement to date, what are your current objectives and the course of action toward achieving these objectives.

 

Ideas and Concept Proposals
Give indications of what changes you would like to put in place and include proposals and structured ideas/concepts, based on factual data and information. Provide a SWOT analysis of any decisions that are to be made. Provide charts and graphs if appropriate.

 

Conclusion
Provide a summary of the main report and link into recommendations. No new information or data should be included in this section.

 

Recommendations
Recommendations based on previous analysis of objectives and concept proposals contained with report. Your recommendations should be clear and concise; a summary that can be read quickly and understood.

 

Acknowledgements
Reference to other published work and credence to personal assistance.
Location of where data and information was obtained from.

 

Line Manager Comments
Allow your line manager to make comment and feedback on contents of report and recommendations you have made.

Important considerations

Providing factual information and data to make your recommendations look concrete is vital, it must be obvious where this data was obtained and that it is from a reputable source.

I hope this provides you with a starting point for writing a management report!

Comments are more than welcome!

Thanks for reading,

Chris