Stop browsing - start writing ! How to find the time to write & become a creator

If it feels like you never have enough time for writing, then read on to find out how to make time without sacrifice

Do you feel that writing content feels like a bottleneck that stops you from working on all the tasks that prevent you from doing what you love doing and what’s making you the money (because you are telling yourself that you hate writing and that it takes far too long to get a decent piece of content written)?

If writing is a painful exercise for you because you get stuck either immediately (not knowing what to write about) or on the way (feeling that you have to wrestle your ideas into shape) or at the end (“gosh, I hate this post – I don’t even know the point of it!”)…

Then it’s time to take a fresh look at this “time-sucking” perception that you have of writing and identify the real-time suckers that cost you not only time but also progress.

The biggest time sucker you can imagine (and that you are most likely indulging in) is browsing.

Why browsing is probably the most detrimental and dangerous time sucker that costs you money and writing time

Browsing is an activity that we do far too often, far too long and far too habitually. This could be…

  • scrolling on social media
  • shopping online and “researching products”
  • choosing a movie to watch
  • picking your clothes
  • wondering what to cook
  • battling your consciousness whether you should do a workout
  • thinking about topics to write about
  • watch videos on TikTok or YouTube
  • researching any topic you already know enough about…

Browsing is an activity that takes a lot of time but doesn’t provide you with a prolific output. And it can lead to you spending even more time on activities that you shouldn’t spend any time on like engaging in chit-chat on social media, endlessly scrolling through your feed, or doing another online course that you don’t need.

In fact - browsing prevents you from creating and engages you in passive consumption. And that is an activity that leaves you wanting more because you are not achieving anything tangible.

It’s a bit like a sugar rush – you are satisfied while you’re doing it and once you’ve stopped for a little while, you get a strong craving to catch up with your feed, see what’s going on, who’s sharing posts that you can quickly comment on…

And just like a sugar rush – it peaks for a moment and then it…

  • leaves you with a mind filled with useless information
  • feeds your imposter syndrome because you see too many people who are crushing it
  • exhausts your decision-making abilities because in rapid succession you have to make the decision to read or scroll on
  • eats up your time in big chunks so that you get stressed because you have no time to work on achieving your goals

And here’s one more thing:

Are you aware of how much time you spend browsing?

Have you tracked the time you spend browsing instead of creating?

And are you wondering why you don’t get the tasks done that are on your to-do list?

Do you feel like you’re underestimating the time it takes you to complete tasks?

I used to say that I underestimate the time it takes me to complete certain tasks. Tasks from my to-do list used to roll over into the next day and the next…

And in the end, some of them never get done.

But what’s more, I felt like writing and creating is taking me too long. Sometimes, writing a blog post took me several hours.

I noticed that my writing was interrupted by alerts and browsing. Quickly looking up some Christmas presents, responding to a friend on messenger, commenting on a few posts in my feed…

These tiny activities broke my focus and made me inefficient because every interruption can cost up to 30 minutes to get refocused.

No wonder that I could never finish the tasks I wanted to complete that day. And over time – something that I should have done in a day might take me three or four days to complete.

Now, I need to say that writing good content takes a bit of time and huge focus. But if you feel that your output is nowhere near where you’d like it to be, then look into your browsing habits.

Tracking your browsing time can be shocking

Have you ever recorded how much time you spend each day browsing? Do yourself the favour and track your browsing time for a week. You’ll be surprised how much time you spend consuming information instead of creating needle-moving content.

Often, you don’t even realise that you are browsing. Browsing has become a habit that you don’t even notice anymore.

Now imagine what you could do instead…

  • meditating to recharge and refocus
  • capturing content topics and running through them in your mind
  • pick up the phone and having a conversation
  • or even writing or editing a post
  • do a short workout…

Since this post is also about the stress and struggles that you are facing with writing content, I’d like to share a few tips how you can transform browsing time into creative time.

How to replace browsing time with creative time

Transforming from a browser into a creator is not an easy task that is done in a day. But it’s also not too hard. All you need is some awareness and some discipline. Here’s what worked for me:

  • I identified all the “browsing” activities I was indulging myself in
  • I sensitised myself to notice when I was browsing
  • I captured my browsing time and came to a shocking average!
  • I defined what I wanted to do instead
  • I defined how much time I wanted to allow myself to browse and then only allow myself to browse with intention. I.e. Browsing with a specific goal – like going into a certain Facebook group, looking for a keyword and then commenting on posts with that keyword
  • I connected my browsing time to my schedule so that I knew when and for how long I could browse without affecting my productivity

And because it still can be hard to write, I also optimised my writing time for maximum productivity. For me, that was…

  • Create effective writing habits/ rituals
  • to block Mondays and fully focus on content creation
  • schedule additional writing pockets into my week
  • identify my 5 content pillars to allow me to focus only on relevant topics
  • record and think through content ideas on the go
  • create my ideal writing environment
  • define a writing process that works for me
  • understand different writing structures to write different types of content more efficiently

Sometimes, I still find it hard to stay focused or grab my phone to start browsing. I catch myself watching something on YouTube or taking 15 minutes to choose a movie on Netflix, but when I do, I force myself to acknowledge that I am browsing and that I could spend this time much better on things that matter and move the needle for me.

When you stop mindlessly browsing, all of a sudden, you find yourself having time for workouts, meeting a friend in a café, taking the dog for another walk, spending some time playing with your kids or sitting on the deck with your partner enjoying a conversation and a glass of wine.

And of course, you find the time to write better quality content because you have the luxury of having enough time to write and having a writing process that works for you.

Now, if you still wonder what to write about, how to identify your content pillars and enough topics to keep you going for a while – then send me a message and we can talk about how I can help you with that.

Categories: businesskills, Copywriting, Creative Flow, Focus

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