In the Mood for writing – yes? What even in these cold dark days? You must be special, because most of us struggle with writing, particularly when the weather is grim and the days are short. You’ve heard about it in the movies and you’ve probably felt it yourself. It’s called Writer’s Block. The planning and fieldwork stages of an audit are what we are trained to do, and we can execute these stages effectively. But when it comes to writing the first draft of the audit report the brakes go on. There are a several very good reasons for that:
Most of time we’ve spent so far has been structured and mapped and even though we have the work-papers done, template at the ready, and keyboard in front of us it all comes to a screeching halt when we realise we’re not in the mood for writing. Many audits are also under pressure to deliver because if any time has been lost during the review, then it’s the end stage of the audit that gets hit. That’s the audit draft report.
There is also a feeling, for many of us in anticipation of what is going to come next, of tension. What will my report look like, how will it be received, will it be criticised, will I get ‘pushback’?
So a couple of tips:
- Checkout our ‘mood, food and noise’ tips in this blog to help your concentration.
- And, for structure or content. Go on, or persuade your manager to send you on, one of our report writing courses. They’ve been around for many years and have kick-started many an auditor’s report writing career.
Regards from the Mindgrove team.
Know yourself. If you are a ‘morning person’, ‘a lark’, an ‘early bird’, or, in Scandinavian countries, an ‘A-person’, who tends to get up early in the morning and goes to bed early in the evening. Then clear the desk and start writing first thing in the day.
If, by contrast, you are a ‘night owl’, ‘late nighter’, or, in Scandinavian countries, a ‘B-person’, that tends to find it difficult to get up. Then do something manual like organising your notes or updating work-papers or organising travel to start your day, and when you get into your swing – later in the day – then clear the desk and start writing.
Food and drink
If you are thirsty or hungry when you are trying to write, then you will find an excuse to get up, wander off to get a cup of tea or coffee and when you sit down again, you will have lost the mood.
Go get that drink or snack and get it out of the way. Then start your writing. And, if you get going you will probably find that cold cup of tea, alongside you, later in the day. That tells you that you really were able to concentrate!
We all know that noise in the background, like two people talking, or phones ringing, or your email going ‘ping’ robs you of your concentration at the vital moment. Just as you were about to put down that vital phrase – you’ve been diverted.
So why not find an empty room, grab a laptop and head for a quiet space, or work from home – to cut down on those ‘open office’ distractions. You know it makes sense, you just have to get organised.
Try it out. Our team always does it. We get our reports written in a third less time that way.