3 Tips to Increase Digital Marketing Productivity
Digital marketers are busy, and getting busier. Changes in the working environment can lead to intense pressure, overflowing task lists, and cause a great amount of stress. Self-doubt, frustration and procrastination are taking its toll, and if not attended, we might find ourselves lagging with our business. Basically, it’s all knotted with a never-ending loop of self-doubt and procrastination. The more we procrastinate, the more we had negative feelings about our abilities. Which leads to more procrastination. It can be crippling at times. Over more, motivation and the myth of self-discipline might be jump into effect on top of it all, but the key point is that we often look at successful people and think “they can do it because they are super disciplined/confident/talented/etc.” The reality is they struggle just like everyone else, and so do I, but by putting a number of practical steps in place it is possible to manage a lot of these struggles. Try and minimize the opportunities for any natural tendency to procrastinate, to use a technique that helps me focus on tasks that are actually important and to not set myself up to fail.
One Key Task
If you have a long task list and much of it carries forward day after day, it can be depressing and overwhelming. There are many great task planning tools, each offering you the promise of managing your tasks more efficiently. By all means, use a decent tool, and make sure you are actually able to get the important stuff done. Block out one segment of your day and dedicate it to one key-task; the task that if you get it done your day would be productive. Always work on this task first thing in the morning for a number of reasons: first, start working on it before anything else has had a chance to distract you, or change your frame of mind. This tends to be the time of day with the least distractions, when you have the mental energy to truly focus.
If the task is too big to do in the amount of time you set for yourself, break it down into pieces that will fit into the segments you set. Set that one key-task the night before, so you don’t get too distracted deciding what it should be. Once you're done with that key-task, you’ll start your day with a sense of achievement.
Email constantly interrupts and makes it very easy to get you busy whilst achieving nothing useful. There are many theories on how you should handle your emails:
Unsubscribe from everything and keep a separate newsletters folder. Each time a newsletter pops into your inbox be prepared for a huge distraction. Every bit of attention you give it, it’s wasted a few seconds and will ruin your string of thought. Don’t get rid of all newsletters, just keep the essentials.
Set daily email scan and email management sessions. Check emails 3 times per day; First, after your key-task check for anything urgent, then have a 30-minute check and quick reply session around lunchtime, and then more in-depth, email session at the end of the day before planning the next day’s tasks.
Set expectations. Let people know that you are only looking at emails twice a day, and in any urgent cases they should call you. Very few people will actually call you.
Don’t put it off. Don't leave email festering in your inbox, it will demotivate you and cause distraction. Action it or delete it; an action may be a response that you won’t be responding until a certain date, and then adding a task to your task list, but you must get it out of your inbox, otherwise you’ve dealing with two task lists.
Managing Social Media Distraction
In a world of social media, it's very easy to get distracted and end up being busy achieving nothing. Make you plans around this to make your time as efficient as possible:
Content calendars. A content calendar is essential to any social media activity for every organization of any size with online presence. This is where you plan out what to publish in terms of content, and then address what social media activity will be carried out around that content and when. Here you can amplify your efforts by focusing your content on key topics and allows teams to work together across your organization.
Social Management Tools. A good social media management tool is essential. There are many out there. The key features that are essential:
- Allows you to manage all the particular social networks you use from a single location
- No need to keep logging in to all my different profiles
- Monitor all of my channels from one place
- Schedule posts of content to any particular channel
- Allows you to add analytics tracking code to all my social posts automatically
- Automatically does URL shortening for you
Daily Social Schedule. Make a quick scan of your social channels once a day and then do most of your responses and outreach toward the end of the day, just like you do with emails. Do all of this with your social management tool, so you don’t need to log in to multiple accounts. The content calendar discussed earlier means to schedule a lot of Tweets, or posts in advance with one of many tools online, this way your outreach is more efficient, and you need to do less.