Digital marketing is a very exciting and high powered career path. It’s also a career where time is always your most limited resource. We’re dealing with Wall Street’s 24/7 cousin here. Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and all other online advertising platforms never sleep. Personally, as my career has grown, time has become more and more scarce. I’ve written some similar posts in the past, however this one will touch on some of my newer thoughts around time management, ideas that are top of mind right now. I hope these help, because time management is not only about your career but it’s also about optimizing your overall life.
- Think very carefully about your PTO/holiday schedule. Plan your PTO strategically, when there is a lower volume of work. Just like digital marketing campaigns, there is a flow to each week. Is it easier for you to take off a Monday or a Friday? Typically, Fridays are the way to go since it’s a “lighter” day. Take off a Monday and you may be feeling the pain for the rest of the week. Planning a big vacation? Try to schedule it during your company’s light season. Perhaps schedule it around an existing holiday weekend, with a few extra days. Personal Example: I’m taking today off, the Tuesday (after the 3-day holiday weekend). My PTO is about to expire since I have accumulated so much (so I had to plan some sort of day off). While Fridays are typically easier to take off, I decided to go for today since I had a big, important meeting on Friday I could not miss. Today is a great day to recharge my batteries, and I can rest assured I planned my day off with sound strategy.
- Empower and grow your team, fast. I created PPC Ian with the goal of educating and empowering those in this exciting online marketing career path. Think of ways you can empower and grow your team every single day. I’m talking about on-the-job training, delegating difficult/challenging projects, mentoring, team activities, and more. The fastest way to scale is to delegate, however you can only delegate so fast. The faster you can grow your team, the more they can take on and the more the overall organization grows. From the employee’s perspective, this is also an ideal situation because this means fast paced career growth! It’s a win-win-win for you, your team, and your company.
- Invest in short bursts of energy. When you are getting a lot done, zone everything else out. It’s ok to reschedule meetings, delay responses to emails, miss phone calls, and simply focus on the task at hand. When you are feeling a burst of energy, you need to harness that energy for one single task at hand (until that task is done, and you move onto the next highest priority). I’m a huge multitasker, but try to multitask only during more normal and lower energy levels. High energy levels are reserved for the most important projects, one at a time. Tip from personal experience: It’s ok if you “catch” yourself getting distracted and/or multitasking. Simply correct course and get focused again. It’s nearly impossible to be fully focused, but just the conscious effort will help you cross the most critical projects right off your list.
- Save tasks forward. Are there any repetitive tasks that you work on? This does not have to be boring, manual work. It just has to be something that has to happen more than once. Some examples from a social media standpoint: writing blog posts and writing tweets. I have often found that if you are energized and in the right frame of mind, you can get a few such projects done in a row. Then, you have essentially saved work forward, work you can use in the future. A personal example: I’ll probably end up writing two blog posts today but will not release the next one until later this week. It will help even out my schedule this week.
- Leverage SEM and SEO agencies. I recently met Prashant and Johnny from AdLift, an amazing SEO agency here in Palo Alto. I view great agencies as instant scale. You can assign them work on your off-hours. You can rest assured they have amazing expertise. You can count on them to be part of your team and help leverage your and your team’s time.
- When you’re done, don’t keep reading/revising the same thing over and over. It’s important to find closure on projects. It’s important to instantly jump away from your task, either to the next one or to a break. As a perfectionist, I have faced this challenge since I will keep perfecting something. However, at a certain point, you need to move to the next priority. With that in mind, see you guys next time!
Image of Hourglass © iStockPhoto – koya79