How a kitchen timer can improve your SEO copywriting

Are you looking for ways to free up some additional time? There’s a rarely talked-about writing technique that can actually help you write better, more engaging Web content – in less time.

And all you’ll need is a kitchen timer (or a timer app) to make it happen. No expensive software or time-management classes necessary.

Here’s all you have to do: Set the timer for a certain time period (I use 25 minutes,) and write. That’s it. Sounds easy, right…?

Well, it’s not – not at first. A big writing efficiency-killer is our tendency to fidget and multitask. We may check email when we’re writing a Web page. We may pop over and surf Twitter when our online writing flow starts to flag. Or – and every writer can identify with this one – we realize, “Oops, I don’t have everything I need to write this article.” Then, the information gathering process begins. You surf for stats. You check your project emails. You’re doing everything but…well…writing.

Sound familiar?

I know this pain far too well. My brain often goes in 10 different directions in any given moment, and multitasking is second nature to me. Then, I tried the Pomodoro Technique (which is the basis of the “kitchen timer method”) My writing life literally changed after reading the guide – which you can download for free.

The kitchen timer writing method forces you to have your stuff together before you start. That means your notes are accessible, your email notifications are set to “off” and your office door is closed. For writers who tend to multitask, this part alone can be incredibly challenging (very challenging!).

After using this method for one day, I saw some fantastic results. I was writing more in 25% less time. And this was quality work – not a scattered rough draft.

Granted, it wasn’t easy. I wanted to do something – anything – but write during those first five minutes. There were a couple times when I caught myself tabbing over to email (old habits die hard!). By the fourth 25-minute writing block, I only tried to stop once. From there, it was smooth sailing.

I never realized the mental toll multi-tasking had on my psyche. Spending focused writing time kept me feeling good and staying calm. I wasn’t mentally drained by 5 p.m. (with three more hours of work time to go.) My energy levels stayed high. I wasn’t riding an adrenaline wave. Life felt much more…even.

I’d highly recommend leveraging this technique. If you’re a freelance writer, writing faster means you can take on more projects and make more money. If you work in-house, increasing your efficiency allows you to finish projects earlier and gain additional free time.

Plus, having more time allows you to leverage more of your content marketing strategy, faster – you’ll finally have the time to launch a new initiative or rewrite some Web content.

So try the kitchen timer technique and let me know how it goes. Who knew that such a low-tech tool could help us with our high-tech writing lifestyles?

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15 replies
  1. Amy Teeple
    Amy Teeple says:

    Thank you for this reminder of this technique. I tried it once and it seemed to work well … for a bit – until my self-diagnosed A.D.D. kicked in. My mind is always jumping and I am always multi-tasking, which makes it difficult to truly focus on the task at hand.

    I am glad you mentioned being prepared before you start – that is usually what gets me. I stop to get more info and then my writing flow is gone and there are SO MANY other things that I’ll just do “for a second.” What’s worse is I know I do it, but have trouble stopping the cycle.

    When I try this method again, I think I need to turn off not only my Twitter alerts and email notifications, but also my phone and even my internet access. If I can’t access my email, I can’t check it, right?

    Thanks again Heather. This post was just what I needed this week. (Of course, it took me a while to finish because I kept getting distracted.) :-)

    Reply
  2. Heather Georgoudiou
    Heather Georgoudiou says:

    Great post! I always struggled with multi-tasking while writing and it was so frustrating. I’m excited to try the 25 minute method, I have already shut my office door, ignored emails,and twitter, and assigned myself writing time in the morning, which really helps.

    I also put into practice some of those great tips I learned from SEO copywriter class, especially taking five minutes to jot down ideas and key points before I begin writing. That one trick has helped enormously!

    Reply
  3. Heather Georgoudiou
    Heather Georgoudiou says:

    I have tried the 25 minute dunk and I found it really effective. It reminds me of something we do in creative writing workshops called a timed writing, where you write without stopping no matter what. Sometimes I would get stuck and just write “I don’t know what to write” but I always kept writing.

    For SEO writing if I find myself writing the same thing over and over in my timed writing phase, I know that is an important component and probably a big benefit statement.

    Reply
    • Heather
      Heather says:

      That’s fantastic! I’m glad that it worked for you! The timed technique is the ONLY thing that keeps me sane when I’m working on big projects (like my presentations for two conferences coming up…ahhhh!) :)

      Reply
  4. Amy Teeple
    Amy Teeple says:

    Hey All!

    I wanted to share something I found since reading this article. It’s a program called RescueTime. Its main function to letting you know where you are spending your time when you are on your computer (breaking things up into categories like email, social networks, Word, Excel, etc.). However, it also has a feature called “Get Focused” and it will block “distracting” websites for whatever duration you select. It has been a great help while trying to follow the kitchen timer technique, since I still get distracted.

    Reply
    • Heather
      Heather says:

      Wow, that sounds great! I can avoid most websites – but I tend to check TweetDeck a lot. And email. I’m addicted to email. I would be frightened to learn of all the unproductive time I spend tabbing over and checking the latest… :)

      Great tip, Amy. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. Seymour
    Seymour says:

    Absolutely! My timer is my best friend on long days when the fridge and kettle are constantly calling and there are a hundred other distractions. “Mutitasking” is fatal and just doing one thing for a concerted amount of time has genuinely revolutionised my time management.

    Reply
    • Heather
      Heather says:

      Yes, yes, yes! There is so much focus on how to multitask better…when that’s actually the worst thing you can do.

      I’m glad the timer technique works for you, too. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  6. Amy Rib
    Amy Rib says:

    Hey, Great article! Very well written and straight to the point. I am borrowing some of this information in my own blog as a reference, I hope you don’t mind.

    Reply
  7. Dusan Veljovic
    Dusan Veljovic says:

    WOW this is really great. Sometimes the simplest thing can be the best thing. Everybody expect some major complicated technique, but KITCHEN TIME is one of the thing that you first laugh then realize how good can that be. From this day i will try to use that, but I already have feeling that will help me a lot.

    Thank you for really well writen article. When you speak about multitasking and emotions that is surounding you doing that is so incredible. I can find myself in your story.

    Keep a good work!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] key to great success is working harder in short bursts of time.” I’ve used the Pomodoro Technique for this and it’s transformed how and when I write. Less stress. More focus. […]

  2. […] „How a kitchen timer can improve your SEO copywriting” – jaki wpÅ‚yw może mieć kuchenny minutnik na techniki SEO Copywritingu […]

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