By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Jul 8, 2022
Many marketing agency owners and marketers feel like they are running a mile a minute all their waking hours and still not getting enough done. We’ve all heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” That takes a little bit of planning, but anyone can do it.
Here are seven practical methods to make your marketing agency more productive and get your life back. Many if not most of these you may already know, but the secret is to be religious in their implementation.
If you are going to finish the tasks you need to do each day, you need to write them down. And you must do this every day not now and then. Make sure you list specific tasks. If you list the same generic tasks most days, there’s not much point.
Keep your daily list reasonable. Don’t put so much on the list that you can’t get it done. If you overpack the list, it becomes meaningless.
Of course, your daily lists will be influenced by your plan for the year, the quarter, the month. If you do not make long term plans and daily lists, you will constantly be in reactive mode, and you will never accomplish important goals. Lists enable you to focus your attention on what needs to be done and when. This is an immediate way to immensely increase your productivity.
It’s not enough just to have a list. You need to allot specific times for each task such as write email for campaign from 2 pm to 4 pm. You will be able to finish some of these tasks on the same day. If you can, you should, so you don’t waste time coming back and retracking where you left off.
An enormous amount of time is lost when people allow themselves to be distracted from the task at hand and don’t finish what they should. It is time consuming to come back to something, reread it, determine where you are and what comes next.
But some tasks take a lot of time. For example, if you are writing a detailed white paper, an investor presentation or a book, you won’t finish it in one day. Some tasks take several days or even several months or years. But every journey begins with the first step. For these long-term tasks, allot a certain amount of time every day (or specific days each week) to complete set milestones until the task is finished.
Also, pay attention and track how long it actually takes to complete a task. If you are constantly unable to finish in the time you have allotted, you are either not focusing or you have been too optimistic. You must be realistic if you are going to make your marketing agency more productive.
Stuff happens, so prioritize the tasks you really need to get done that day. It’s human nature to do the easy tasks first. But that means that important tasks may keep getting pushed to the next day indefinitely. Set priorities according to their time sensitivity and importance.
Another thing that helps many people is scheduling their most important tasks for the time of day they are usually most alert and productive.
While you are prioritizing tasks, also consider whether or not a task really must be done at all. In some cases, you may be better off moving on to the next item and tabling certain tasks that are really unnecessary.
When you are working on an important scheduled task, bar the door, unplug the phone and avoid email at all costs. and First and foremost, turn off your email notification. Set times during the day when you check your email. Too many marketers allow it to be a constant distraction, putting them in constant reactive mode as they answer email.
Don’t allow team members to just pop in whenever they like for questions or chats. Schedule meetings. You will probably need to train others in your agency to respect this rule. But it’s one you should implement throughout your agency if you are to make your marketing agency more productive.
Determine where your time is best spent. Don’t be afraid to spend what you need to bring in staff or outsourced help to pick up some of the work. For example, is your time really best spend on time consuming, mundane, administrative tasks? Are you really the best writer or would your agency be more effective if you outsourced some of your content needs? Make sure you have enough time to devote to strategy.
If you don’t have the expertise you need in your organization to take as much of the burden from you as you need, consider outsourcing. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to outsource specific tasks to an expert than to hire high level staff you need to pay every week all year long.
If you do need to meet with people in order to communicate about projects, try to set up meeting at a set time each week. Usually, there aren’t many issues that are truly urgent, and this will encourage them to respect your “No Distractions” rule as addressed above.
However, on the flip side, a lot of companies hold meetings when it would be more effective for people to work on their own and address those few issues that must be discussed through email. Unnecessary meetings, whether they are in person or zoom meetings, can be a massive time drain.
The most important thing about enhancing productivity and improving time management is your dedication to do it. But there are many tools and apps available that can help you make your marketing agency more productive. Here is a list of some of them.
Ready to make your marketing agency more productive? If you are looking for experts to take over some of your tasks, consider reselling Umbrella white label digital marketing services. We can handle everything from A to Z, and you can relax knowing your clients are being served by experts.
Contact Umbrella for a free consultation about how we can help your marketing agency.
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