Print out these instructions, save the page somewhere useful, and refer to it the next time you draft a document.
Posted: October 10, 2014
The folks at Twitter didn’t increase their 140-character limit. Why? Less is still more.
Can you condense your message as tightly as possible? Our culture rewards brevity and people who know how to say a lot with a little.
To help everyone stay concise, I created an easy way to improve anything you write. In about three minutes, you will make your work read faster, look sharper and feel more authoritative.
Step one: When you finish your document, hit CTRL + F to bring up the search function.
Step two: Look for these words and delete or change them.
- very, just and really (remove all three)
- in order (delete, as in “I did this in order to do that”)
- that (delete, as in “I believe that you are correct”)
- quite (delete, excess word)
- thing (replace with specific word for the “thing”)
- utilize (switch to “use” or pick another verb)
- get or got (pick another, more descriptive verb)
- -ing verbs (“I am writing” becomes “I write)
Step three: Print out the document to check your edits.
Step four: Submit your work confidently!
Danny Rubin writes News To Live By, a blog for millennials that highlights the career and leadership lessons hidden in the day’s top stories. A former TV journalist, Danny uses current events to demonstrate how we can improve our writing, networking, public speaking and all the other real world skills. Follow Danny at @NewsToLiveBy. A version of this article first appeared on NewstoLiveBy.
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