I’m always focused on time management. As a digital marketing professional, I’m always wishing for more time. There is so much opportunity out there, and so little time. Today, I wanted to share a time management framework that has been helping me a lot lately, centered around the concept of embracing and taking advantage of surges in energy. It’s a strategy that continues to improve and evolve every single week!
I like to equate my time management philosophy to digital marketing media planning. From a media planning standpoint, we allocate budget to the most productive channels, and take away budget from lower performing channels. Even within a channel (such as paid search), we allocate budget to the most profitable keywords, and remove budget from less productive keywords. By optimizing a portfolio of many on a granular level, the overall sum has the best aggregate results.
Time management is the same. Do you ever feel inspired? It doesn’t matter if it’s 6:00 am, 9:00 am, or 11:00pm. Inspiration comes in waves, it can just hit you! When I feel inspired, I like to harness that energy and keep going until I drop. I view those times of the week when I’m most inspired as the best components of the overall portfolio that makes up my productive workweek. You want to overweight those great moments, so I invest in them heavily. The challenge here is they can come and go. You don’t always know when they’ll hit, so be ready.
Have times of the day or week when you are less productive? Under-invest in such times. If it’s 5:00pm and you’re not getting much done, go home. If it’s mid-day and you’re feeling sluggish, focus on easy tasks. I especially like filling lower energy time periods with more routine tasks that don’t involve quite as much creativity. I also give myself a rest during unproductive times. There’s only so much time in the week. If you go all out during those surges of energy, you need to conserve your energy (within reason) during those slower times (of course, only if outside standard business/work hours). By minimizing low productivity times, you again improve your average productivity for the entire workweek.
Want to supercharge this strategy? I truly recommend getting into work early. There are certain times when you can expect a surge in energy and it will often come (at least for me) when I’m at work super early. It’s a very calm time of day and a great time to surge through work. I also enjoy the night hours after work so I’m super open to working very late at night, embracing my surge in energy. I know that I’ll reward myself later that week with an easy day when I feel lower energy so the strategy is very sustainable.
Another way to boost this strategy? Eat well, exercise well, and drink plenty of water. I have found that a healthy diet helps supercharge productivity as well. You will find increased overall surges of energy if you take great care of yourself.
Some other tips that can enhance this strategy:
- Surround yourself with positive, happy, inspired people. You will find yourself more inspired and productive if you’re around high, positive energy.
- When you’re inspired and riding the wave of energy, stay focused. New ideas will pop into your mind. Take notes so you don’t forget later but quickly get back to project at hand. I like to listen to music (with my headphones) to stay super focused.
- Make sure to give back. As a leader at your company and field, try to inspire productivity and surges of energy in your team and others. The productivity is contagious!
Image of today © iStockPhoto – AnsonLu