Many business writers embark upon their writing projects with one goal in mind: get it done. And while efficiency and productivity are certainly laudable goals in the workplace, being overly driven to ‘just finish’ is often a recipe for sloppy, unpolished work.

If you want to make your business writing as smooth, tight, and effective as possible, there’s one strategy you can use that most business writers ignore. Walk away.

You see, often when we write, we suffer from ‘can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees’ syndrome. When this happens, we lose sight of the big picture (the forest) because we’re hyper-focused on the details (the trees). Our writing becomes cumbersome, disorganized, and disjointed, and we don’t succeed in our primary goal as business writers: communicating our entire message clearly and concisely.

What’s the answer? I recommend that once you get to a point in your writing where you believe you’re ‘finished’ (and trust me, you’re not), you put your document down for a while and leave it alone. Take a walk around the block, go have lunch, turn your attention to other work, or go home for the evening.

Time away from your writing will give you an opportunity to clear your mind and reflect on your primary goal in writing the document. Ask yourself: “What am I trying to accomplish with this piece of writing?” Identifying you primary purpose will let you come back to your project focused and refreshed, and ready to begin the final, and perhaps most important, part of the writing process: revision.

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