If you’ve ever had to write to a particular word limit, you’ll know it’s easier to write too much than too little.

And when that you do go over the word limit, you’ll be faced with an agonising decision about what sentences to cut.

However, with some judicious editing, you will inevitably find that a few phrases can be replaced with shorter, more direct words. And if you can train yourself to write this way in the first place, you will save yourself time and effort later on.

I’m talking about phrases like “at the present time” – what’s wrong with the more straightforward “now”?  “As a matter of urgency” can be replaced with “urgently” and “adversely impact on” with “damage”.

This will also have the happy effect of making your writing simpler for the reader to understand.