Friday, September 08, 2006

Catastrophic editing can save your sanity

Have you ever reached the point where you can't bear to proofread an article another time? Plus, you need to declare the article finished, or you'll miss your deadline?

That's when it's time to ask your colleague or friend to do a "catastrophic edit."

Tell her or him that it's too late for edits that are merely "nice to have." You can only make changes to outright mistakes or embarrassing flaws.

My team and I at Columbia Management Group came up with this term when we had to crank out nicely formatted investment commentary as quickly as possible.

We were all perfectionists. We could debate the location of a comma with the verve of Bostonians discussing the Red Sox. But if I said "catastrophic edits only," my team would grit their teeth and comply. That's how we consistently made our deadlines.



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