Originally published December 30, 2017; updated December 30, 2022
Time for year-end technical writer and editor business roll call.
As a technical writer and editor, I document my business goals. Write down the tasks. Cross off and re-write. Proofread and edit the list. What do I do about the competing priorities? →Maybe if I take a roll call, like we did at summer camp, I can organize this list!
At summer camp, we had roll call each morning; all bunks had to be around the flagpole before breakfast. The bugle sounded, and the head counselor called out each bunk’s name. The idea was to make sure everyone was awake, dressed, and ready for the day’s activities. Some mornings, it was a challenge to get my teenage campers out on time. But if we were going on a day trip, the girls jumped up, dressed, and were out in a jiffy!
As I think of my business tasks, part of me feels like the girls who took their time to dress and leave the bunk. I’d often have to cajole them to get up. I want to organize the files for the new year, but my desk—and my laptop—are piled with files. I need to toss, delete, or reorganize so I can make room for the new year’s files and folders.
Then there’s the energized part of me, just like the girls who jumped up at the sound of reveille, dressed, and bounded out of the bunk. I’ve written down my new goals and am ready to tackle them!
Most of my campers, though, dressed at a normal pace, and were outside on time. In general, I’m like those girls who didn’t rush or dawdle. I have business goals to meet, daily client work, and the hum-drum personal tasks. I wonder, though, how can I organize these competing activities for the new year?
“Business Goals, are you ready?”
“Us Long-Range ones are.”
“Well, what about the Short-Term ones? Are you ready?”
“Just polishing the final points and we’ll be right out!”
“What about Client Work?”
“Well, only Today’s Client Work is ready.”
“Fine! I don’t need everyone; just Today.”
“Personal Tasks?” No answer. Uh-oh, are they still sleeping?
“Personal Tasks, where are you?” I sing out.
“Coming, coming…there’s a lot of us to get out the door!”
“OK, let’s try this roll call again! Business Goals?”
“Here, all of us.”
“Client Work, here!”
Hesitantly, I call out, “Personal Tasks?”
Yay! They’re all present and accounted for!
Technical Writer/Editor Business Task Summary
- Clean desk
- Review and prioritize new business-building activities
- Calendar tasks
- Develop the client’s compliance procedure
- Research related law/regulations
- Copyedit a client’s business article
- Proofread the healthcare how-tos
Year-end technical writer and editor business roll call complete!
What’s on your year-end roll call?