I’ve given myself too little time to write this…
Normally, I block out an hour to write these essays. It’s time that’s blocked out on my calendar, dedicated specifically to this task.
When I’m asked how I’m so productive, or how I’m able to write so much, this is the secret.
(With a huge thank-you to my coach Joseph Rodrigues for beating this into me.)
Specifically blocking out time for things that need to get done, and in that time block, doing the work to make it happen.
But today I’ve been working on a big exciting project, and I intentionally let it run over a bit. Which means I have to make up time here. Because my promise and obligation to you is to get these essays delivered to your inbox at 4 PM Central every weekday.
And since my time crunch has put productivity front and center in my mind… That’s what I’m going to write about!
(It’s a topic in high-demand, too — I’ve gotten multiple “how do you do it?” questions recently.)
You wanna be productive? Make it a habit…
It’s not just blocking time on a calendar. It’s the habit of doing it. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year.
I’ve written a daily essay pretty much every work day since April 2014. And most have clocked in at 1,000+ words.
The earliest were in the 700 to 1,000 word range. I occasionally run long, and crank out a behemoth 2,000+-word monster.
But for the most part, you reliably get 1,000 to 1,500 words per day.
And, for the most part, my total time writing that plus loading it up on my website and in an email to get to you is around 60 minutes.
This is one of the big secrets to massive productivity…
You’ve heard of Parkinson’s Law? It states that work expands to fill the time you give it. Similarly, if you limit the time you have available to get a piece of work done, you’re likely to crank it out faster than you would have otherwise.
Use this to your advantage.
If you want to write faster, sit down with a dang timer, and make yourself start and finish something inside a predetermined time window.
Hold yourself to it. Don’t cheat.
Make it realistic, of course. I typically don’t write 5,000 words per hour. And if I’m writing client copy (versus one of my essays), it’s hard to even hit 1,000 words in an hour.
And yet, I know if I give myself a finish line and a deadline, I’m way more likely to get done fast than with the finish line alone.
Here’s another secret about writing fast…
There’s something to prose that’s written fast. It has a special rhythm. It has a special energy.
Your urgency as a writer comes out to the reader.
Your writing is more engaging. It’s more likely to have that fire in its belly that will get the reader stirred up, too.
You’ll also resort to things that are easy to write fast — like stories, familiar ideas, and simple concepts.
All of these things will also make your writing more persuasive.
Some of the most profitable marketing I’ve ever created was also written in the least time.
Heck, I even consider that a secret to cranking out profitable marketing. At least for my ADHD-butt.
If I’m forced to spend too much time on a single piece of writing, it sucks the life out of it. The more drafts, the worse it becomes.
Let me crank out a first draft, review it once to make sure it’s not confusing, then review it one more time to make sure I’m not saying anything illegal or inaccurate…
Then TEST IT!
That’ll give you the best chance of a big winner.
Good news is, this also lets you test more. More ideas. More concepts. More campaigns. More funnels.
And no matter how long you spend polishing any one piece of copy or idea, you still don’t know anything until you test. In fact, by testing a LOT, you’ll find some interesting things about what the market responds to, and what it doesn’t.
(A generic rule for split testing marketing, assuming you’re dealing with professional creative, is that half your tests will give you about even results. Neither creative will win or lose dramatically. 1 in 4 will be a clear winner, and 1 in 4 will be a clear loser. Test enough though, and 1 in 10 will be a much bigger winner, and 1 in 10 will be a bigger loser. The longer you take to get to 10 tests, the long it takes you to find the much bigger winner!)
Here’s another productivity secret: make sure you…
Make sure you are working on the right things.
That is, are you really motivated to do what you’re doing right now?
The motivation might be inherent in the task. That is, if you really, really like whatever it is you’re doing, you can do it much faster. For me, writing these essays is a great example. I love writing about marketing, selling, business, copywriting, productivity, and the like. So give me one of these essays to write, let me pick a topic that I’m into today, and I’ll go to town.
Or, the motivation can be external to the task. For example, when I used to do my own taxes, I was really productive in the week before April 15th (at least, on taxes!). I had the external deadline I didn’t want to miss. Even though I’d been thinking about and even dabbling in doing my taxes leading up to that week, it wasn’t until the external motivation of getting my taxes done on time because salient and strong that I finally put my head down and cranked them out.
I’ve tried to rearrange my work life so I’m working more and more on tasks that are inherently motivating. That is, I’m focusing more and more of what I do on things I actually get enjoyment out of. (Such as creating my own marketing, and this library of training for BTMSinsiders.) My unique abilities. Tasks I feel that I bring something special to. Things that I’m doing not just because I can do them, but because I want to do them.
That makes it easier to be more productive for more hours in the day. In fact, that makes it hard to STOP being productive.
Which makes productivity even more of a habit. Which only increases my productivity. Which helps the habit. Which…
You get the point.
It’s a feedback loop.
One more little productivity secret…
Here comes the shameless plug. When you get really good at specific tasks, they become easy to repeat, quicker.
Sure, you don’t have to do them quite the same way every time.
For example, a master musician will play the same song on their instrument thousands of times. And yet each time is a joy because because they’re bringing themselves to the song in a brand new way for that unique moment in time.
I think of copywriting much the same way.
For example, I almost always word my refund language in a guarantee with pretty much the same words…
“You’ll get a prompt and courteous full refund of every penny you paid.”
But it’s not copy-and-paste. I don’t swipe myself. Even though I could.
I’ve internalized specific writing patterns and copy chunks that come out of me without effort, that lead to high-velocity copywriting.
Every step of the way. From headlines. To intros. To positioning statements. To customer qualification and disqualification. To handling objections and common questions. To offers. And so on, and so on.
And I’m in the process of putting that into my next training package for BTMSinsiders.
It will be called High-Velocity Copywriting and it’s already been added to the Coming Soon page on BTMSinsiders. Register today and it will be live within the first 30 days of your membership. Plus you’ll get instant streaming access to all the training that’s already live and available as part of membership.
And if you decide it’s not right for you, you can cancel within 30 days and request a refund. You’ll get a prompt and courteous full refund of your entire first-month’s membership fee. (See what I did there?)
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
PS: The value of speed copywriting? I wrote this in 35 minutes! How’s that for massive productivity?