The world is full of procrastinators who have no idea where they are going. The digital generation is able to do more than ever before by use of innovative tech, yet for many, their time management skills are close to zero. Management across a range of industries have serious concerns about employees simply being unable to meet their deadlines, despite advancements in technology such as artificial intelligence (Ai) allowing us to work more efficiently.
Marketing professionals suffer from this lack of time management in the same way. They frequently suffer from not having enough time to manage several projects at once, and this is only exacerbated by the myriad distractions in today’s society. For this reason, developing time management skills early on is paramount for those serious about their careers as a little discipline for a marketer reflects on the delivery time and quality of the work they submit.
Why is time management so important?
Anyone who understands that time is the greatest currency in our lives understands the value of it. It is the only currency cannot get back once it is spent. Knowing where and how to spend time is important, as limited time often means there is an opportunity cost for the choices we make. This sets the stage for the debate about what to prioritize and what not to.
CEO’s in all areas look in hire people with amazing time management skills. The noticeable increase in overall productivity these employees bring to an organization is highly sought after. The work they produce is also of a higher standard. Sadly, good time managers are a minority of workers, and indeed, poor time management is the most common mistakes startup CEO’s make.
Proper time management also increases a person’s decision-making ability. Employees become restless when they have unfinished work and not enough time to do it, but simple time management skills can mitigate this restlessness. Imagine always getting your work done prior to the deadline, and the sense of calm this induces. This is what drives smarter decisions and higher quality content.
Time management can make or break careers as well as businesses. Developing a campaign and running an ad at the right time are both essential in determining the public reaction to the product that is released. Marketers have to ensure they plan everything out otherwise there is bound to be chaos.
5 ways marketers manage their time
You can only start to understand how to manage your daily tasks once you get more organized. Marketers need to set some of the more important tasks as the day’s essentials and the rest as tasks that can be done later on. Any projects that have a deadline in one or two days are tasks that are to be done right away.
The company has to maintain a certain standard in terms of quality, and a failure to meet a deadline can be extremely damaging for the company’s reputation. Establishing a habit of prioritizing within your daily schedule can significantly benefit you as a marketer. By categorizing work as ‘urgent and important’, ‘urgent but not important’, ‘important but not urgent’ and lastly ‘not urgent and not important’ is an effective way of easily seeing which tasks are a priority.
Once you do this, you will feel your stress level immediately decrease. This allows you to focus on your work which increases the quality of your deliverables. Failure to prioritize in this way can lead to burnout, especially within startup culture where workers have a greater degree of responsibility.
Planning for the next day:
Knowing what you have to do in the future can help you realize what should be done in the present moment. Great marketers always make sure they analyze their future projects and plan their work schedule accordingly.
This principle applies to both the macro and micro scale. In other words, understanding what you need to do tomorrow can be just as helpful as planning your schedule for the next month. Knowing what time to do what on the following day helps keep stress levels down. This informs goals for the present day and aids in deciding which tasks to prioritize. The marketer also has to plan for anything out of the ordinary, forming contingency plans for any situation given to you.
Take out time every night after you get your work done. Clear your desk in order to feel more organized and at the same time, leave behind a reminder of the tasks you need to handle next.
Distractions can be a nuisance both in office spaces and at home. You are bound to face some kind of distraction, regardless of where you work. Eliminating these distractions is important in allowing you to concentrate on your work.
Great marketers make sure each second is spent productively and is accountable for. If you are surrounded by lots of people who continuously speak to you while you are working, move. If your phone starts ringing because of social media updates, turn it off. If you have your office space close to a window and the traffic horns are breaking your focus, close the window. Some of the most successful people in business are known for their unusual habits in eliminating distractions, but these eccentric entrepreneurs have proven that their strategies are effective.
Get rid of anything and everything that breaks your chain of thought, and yes, this includes your mobile phone. Constantly checking social media is a habitual act for many of us, but this continuous habit forms a major distraction. Make sure the phone is out of sight while you work on your projects.
Keeping a record of where you spent your time:
Develop the habit of recording your actions. Keeping a to-do list and writing down the time that each task started and ended will help get a marketer organized. It also helps give an insight into the time it takes for certain tasks to complete. You will then be able to monitor your progress in terms of becoming more time-efficient, whilst also setting yourself realistic goals. The improvement can greatly increase productivity and also allow for personal and professional development.
This process allows you to hold yourself accountable. Normally, marketers would end up spending much of their time procrastinating or building on an idea without knowing how to add further value. Write down what that entire process was like so you can better understand where you went wrong. Marketers need to stay organized if they are to reach time-sensitive goals.
Sleeping well and being productive:
This might seem mundane and obvious, but its importance cannot be overstated. Sleeping, however, is the most important activity of the day: it helps revitalize your entire body, providing rest and healing. It also helps replenish your immune system leaving you fresh and fit for work.
Waking up with a good night’s rest, you will be energized to function properly. Marketers need to make critical decisions regarding campaigns and promotional activity. The mental alertness that sleep provides gives you the best chance of making the right decision.
All in all, sleep and exercise can help you have a fresh perspective and be present in the moment. A well-rested mind is more proactive and less prone to distraction. The focus you require on the project at hand may just be a few hours of sleep away.
All of these tips will help any marketer reach their peak of success. Spending long hours in the office designing marketing campaigns is a requirement of the job. However, it is of no use whatsoever if half the time spent in the office is wasted. Poor time management will not give your company the edge it needs in the market.
Better planning, organizing, and discipline are key for marketers to lead their companies to success. Your work will not go unnoticed within the company, marking you as an individual who produces more work in less time. As a marketer, you may be responsible for forming the company image, but at the same time, the company is responsible for forming yours.