Due to the nature of our work, marketing and advertising professionals have extra challenges when it comes to time management. To a greater extent than many other professions, we’re expected to deal with shifting or competing priorities, last-minute client requests, client-orchestrated delays, and crises that require fast action.
In this type of environment, even marketing and ad pros with stellar time management skills can quickly find themselves behind the eight ball, especially if they’re working one man/woman shows or on small teams with limited bandwidth.
If you’re having a hard time getting out in front of your to-do list and can’t figure out why, you might want to consider if any of the following “time vampires” need vanquishing:
One: Doing things for no good reason.
Take a fresh look at your ongoing workload. If you have a question mark about the cost vs. benefit value of any of your tasks, elevate them to your boss or client.
This is especially important to do for “inherited” activities that might have been initiated by someone who managed your accounts five years and two staff members ago.
In those cases, it may be time to retire, modify, or delegate out some activities to another colleague.
Two: And speaking of delegating…
Marketing types can be infamous control freaks. But the savvy marketing pro knows where to best spend his/her time, and where to delegate or job out.
One reason you may feel like you’re underwater sometimes is because you are investing too much energy into tasks that are better suited to someone else’s schedule or ability level.
Three: Project management systems that don’t work for you.
Sure, you may be religiously keeping your project management spreadsheet up to date every week. But is your system really working for you?
If it’s just another time sucker that’s not helping you keep the train moving, it’s time to think about implementing a different procedure.
Four: Ignoring your data.
And by data, we’re referring to outcomes and analytics. If you’re engaged in a time-consuming, ongoing marketing tactic but you don’t have any idea if it’s really effective, you need to hit pause and do some analysis.
Based on your discovery, you can decide if the tactic stays, goes, or needs to be modified.
Five: Meetings by email.
In an era where many of us work remotely from key team members or clients, it can be easy to fall into a deeply ingrained habit of taking care of large amounts of business electronically. And it’s also easy to fall into a trap of thinking that emails and texts are more efficient than having meetings.
Take a look at the amount of regularly-scheduled email that flies from your fingers each week. In some cases, it may be that a 15 minute weekly phone call can save you and your other colleagues multiple hours’ worth of back and forth via email.