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Pls help me figure out what the issue is with writing(6 Posts)
So I'm having a rocky time at work. I've found I'm working longer and longer hours unpaid to complete tasks that I can't get done through the working day. Result I've spread myself so thin that I've got into a mindset of 'nothing left to give'.
I feel like the life is being sucked out of me and seriously considering a change of job next year.
I was called in for a meeting and my time management was questioned. I know how hard I work, the heart I put in and confident that my intention is to do good. This is where my brain slows down....I literally didn't know what to say because I was offended, hurt and taken aback.
I came out of that meeting, thinking I'll never be put in that position again. So I started to document my daily activities, tasks etc
It's opened my eyes to a couple of areas I struggle with and I have no idea why. I'm even embarrassed😳
It takes me a ridiculous amount of time. I've started to wonder if I'm dyslexic or slow. Pls help me figure out what the issues are so I can crack it. It's like I freeze
I know this feeling. I seem to take a long time to do these tasks too but it's confidence with me, I'm terrified my work isn't correct or is not good enough so I read and re-read etc. Then there is still usually criticism of it. I'm really struggling to change this and it is really impacting family life. No tips but lots of sympathy.
Is it possible you're actually being more perfectionistic than you need to be when composing things like emails? I'm an editor and your writing seems fine to me, if your post is anything to go by.
Hi, I had to reply as I have been in this exact same situation. No one pulled me up on it as I hid it pretty well but it made me question my whole career choice, which involves a lot of writing. Your reaction is understandable as you've just been given a lot of criticism but documenting and trying to micro manage yourself isn't going to close the problem as it's just being more and more self critical about your approach. The problem with me I realised over time is that I was being too perfectionistic. I had to get it perfectly right (so no chance of criticism), but it was costing me my time and personal life. Practise writing something that you think is good enough and send it off. See what happens. Do that a few times. You will learn which emails and docs are trickier and need more time. This was a game changer for me. The other thing I found was I'd had a real lack of constructive feedback on my work, so it was hard to get a gauge of it. Look at what other people have written (you'll probably find it's not perfect either). Dont be afraid to ask someone to proof an important doc. Try not to take the feedback personally. I do still struggle in some areas, for example if I have to digest and summarise something massive. I hate that. A few other techniques i have learnt. Write the key points of the doc/email in bullet points. Also use lock text in word, it stops you going back and editing!
Sometimes I find I kind of zone out when writing, I almost get stuck inside the document. I don't have any dyslexia but am s bit of a perfectionist, trying to find the right and most precise way of saying things. Is it possible you are doing that? I find it helps to draft the main points I need to say, write them, take a short break and then review. Or even put it aside, work on something else and review it before sending the next day.
Sometimes it's just a case of making sure you've covered the relevant points clearly and in an unambiguous way.
When initiating emails jot down the few points you are trying to cover and use those to put your email together. Re-read your email before sending.
When responding to someone else's emails, ensure you have understood the content and answer point by point, using their email as reference.
Something I have occasionally done is separating out the different points I'm responding to, in the actual email, with my response in the body of the incoming email, but in a different colour/font. That way you don't miss anything and response is quicker.
Regarding longer documents/reports: in a notepad plan, using bullet points, what you are trying to achieve. Once I have those points I can move on more quickly and accurately with what I'm trying to say.
Have a brief intro and summary and use the bullet points to provide the information you need to impart. Then:
Take a short break at this stage (tea, coffee, toilet, a 5-10min walk, whatever) come back and reread your document with fresh eyes. Tweak as necessary using your notes, check for grammar and clarity and send.
Save your bulletin points/notes as you can use them as an executive summary or to compile a presentation as necessary - no need to reinvent the wheel/save time.
I find just jotting down the salient points helps me focus better and the response/report flows better. I hope that helps! 🌹