Writing a Shorter Letter

By miltonfriesen | Life Design

Dec 01

Once when President Woodrow Wilson was asked how long it took him to prepare a speech, he replied: “that depends on the length of the speech…

Photo Credit: Public Domain via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Public Domain via Pixabay

Shorter speech takes more time to prepare.

“That depends on the length of the speech,” the President replied. “If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.”

To say things clearly and effectively, takes a lot of effort. The same is true for writing. And I am telling you, blogging is definitely good exercise. Especially if you try to put something worthwhile out every two days or so.

Staying brief and to the point is an art.

I know many preachers that could use that word of wisdom. (If my pastor is reading this, I am not talking to you.) I am trying to learn to be more concise in how I write blog posts. I want to be relevant to everyday life, and yet I don’t want to write blog posts that are a chore to read.

The same principle applies in many areas of life. In marketing we often only have seconds to bring our messages across. In those seconds we want the customer to:

  1. Be fascinated with the product,
  2. Demonstrate how it will improve his life,
  3. Build trust between client and the brand,
  4. and ask them for the sale or next action.

None of these items are optional. So with mere seconds to do so, it is an exercise in brevity.

Sometimes less is more.

It is about eliminating the straw. Sometimes the straw hides the kernels. Becoming minimal can be extremely effective in many ways. There is an old 80/20 rule floating around that seems to be really effective. It says: “80% of your success comes from 20% of the things you do.” If you have ever been involved in marketing, you have probably heard that. Find the 20% of the money you spend that brings in 80% of your sales.

You can apply that principle to your to-do list, your money management, your time schedule, your contracts you take on. It just simply works!

[tweetthis]I dare you to apply the 80/20 rule to your Christmas shopping this year[/tweetthis]

I dare you to apply that to your Christmas shopping this year. Buy the 20% of gifts that spread 80% of the joy!

I, for one, am committed to learning the art of minimization better. But like Blaise Pascal is often indirectly quoted, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” And therefore, sometimes you will still receive longer posts. And that’s okay, you guys love it when I ramble. Eh?

What area of your life do you need to apply the 80/20 rule to?

About the Author

Milton Friesen is a certified Life & Leadership Coach, and Entreprenuer, and blogs about success, positive psychology, spirituality, leadership, team synergy, and living the best life.