Do you ever feel like you don’t have a minute to spare in the day because you’re working so much, but your to-do list doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller? We all have days, or even weeks, like this. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Focusing on productivity can help us to get more done in less time. Rather than sacrificing even more sleep or longing for an extra day in the week, follow these tips to become a more productive marketer.
Plan your days
Having a clear plan for the day ahead can help you to stick to task more easily and not go off on time-wasting tangents. Some people sit down the evening before and plan what they’ll do the next day. You could also take 10-20 minutes in the morning to plan the day ahead. You could even do this on your commute to work.
Eat that frog
If we’ve got a big, important task, we have a tendency to procrastinate and put it off, instead focusing on smaller, more manageable tasks. Business guru, Brian Tracy advises you to eat that frog! Originating from a quote from Mark Twain, this theory tells you to tackle the thing you dread most, before you start on anything else. By doing this, you know that the worst task is behind you and you are ready to take on anything.
Being constantly connected through multiple devices is a real distraction. To improve your focus, turn your smartphone on silent and put it out of reach and out of view if you have to. Switch off any desktop notifications as well, especially email. Rather than checking your emails regularly throughout the day or as soon as you receive an email, allocate two or three times throughout the day that you dedicate to email.
There are lots of tools online that help you with productivity. Calendar tools, project management, to-do lists, time-tracking tools, and many more can help you make better use of your time. These can help you to manage your time more effectively, communicate better with your team, and keep track of everything that needs doing. Here is just a short list of tools that many marketers swear by for better organization and productivity:
Automate what you can
You shouldn’t rely on automation for everything, but it can help save time on certain tasks. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are useful for automating social media content, and most email service providers, such as MailChimp, allow for autoresponders and automated testing. Automation helps to free up your time from performing repetitive and menial tasks, giving you more time for other tasks.
When creating your to-do list for the day or week ahead, take some time to organize your tasks in order of importance. Highlight tasks that absolutely must be completed that day, mark deadlines on your calendar or list, and make sure to keep updating your to-do list. This helps you to prioritize your tasks and ensure that you meet important deadlines.
Give yourself a break
If you have a million and one things to do, you feel like you need to work non-stop until it’s done. This can actually be counterproductive. Your brain needs to take breaks in order to stay focused. Even taking a five-minute walk around the office can help to refresh your mind and recharge your batteries, leading to more a better work output.
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, you might try to save time by doing several things at once. Just like avoiding giving your brain a break, this can be counterproductive. It is better to focus all your attention on one thing at once and work efficiently on that before moving onto the next task. When you divide your attention, you become much less productive and more easily distracted.
It’s become an over-used phrase, but the trick really is to work smarter, not harder. Make more of the time you spend in the office so that you can achieve results and still have time to spare for yourself. What are your go-to tricks for staying productive? Let us know @MktngStrategy.