Professional success. A new year resolution for many of us.
Success in marketing, like anything in life, is fueled by results. And in order to get results, you need a personal plan.
A typical Marketing job is a combination of strategic thinking and repetitive tasks. Successful marketers find the time to think long term, and have the skills to juggle with multiple projects simultaneously.
I never believed that you have to “work hard” to achieve success. If you are working on the wrong thing, your hard work will lead to nothing.
Successful marketers work smart, not hard. Working efficiently is a great skill to master, as it allows you finish your projects faster, or getting more stuff done.
Below are the “key components” of my personal plan to achieve work efficiency.
Wake Up Early
I’ve always been a morning person. I don’t remember the last time I woke up past 7 am. Waking up early gives me time to think and to plan my day. I feel like I have the whole day ahead of me to enjoy and get things done.
It’s been documented that early risers are more productive and less stressed. The world around you is much quieter early in the morning, which gives you time to plan and even do things you would be able to do later (especially if you have small kids): reading, writing, exercising, or mediating.
Waking up early doesn’t mean that you have to sleep less. Having a good night sleep is equally important. Just go to bed earlier, and have something to look forward to in the morning, like a fresh cup of coffee.
You all know the exercising is good for you. The challenge most of us have is finding time to do it.
It’s not easy to commit to a workout schedule. You will find any excuse in the world not to do it. But every time I finish my workouts I am so happy I found the strength to commit to it.
When I exercise I feel like I already accomplished something that day.
Exercising early morning gives me enough energy for the entire day (another reason to wake up early). It also motivates me and allow me to think about the projects I am working on.
Some of my best marketing ideas came on the elliptical.
This year I did something I should have done long time ago. I decided to “unsubscribe” from all the things that gave me the illusion I was busy, when in fact I was just wasting time.
I started with an audit of my email subscriptions. One quick look at my iPhone showed 10,152 unread emails accumulated in my inbox. Included here are Facebook and Twitter updates, LinkedIn group updates, Amazon daily offers, and other information that I very rarely read. Once these emails identified, I hit the Unsubscribe button.
Cable TV is another distraction I managed to eliminate. Since I switched to an over the air antenna two things happened: I have more time for what’s truly important, and I am watching more quality content (many over the air channels are less commercial and more educative).
Analyze how you spend your day. Getting rid of distractions will play a huge role in you becoming more efficient.
Use Modern Productivity Tools
If you’re like me you have days when you feel you worked a lot but didn’t accomplished much. That’s because you spent your day dealing with minor tasks (replying to emails, attending meetings) and not working on moving your projects forward.
My solution: everyday task automation.
I am not an early adopter of the latest cool gadgets and productivity apps, but I have a few favorite ones that make my day easier: Asana (project management), hootsuite (social media management), and OpenBrand (brand identity management).
Using these tools for repetitive tasks frees up your time to focus on what’s important. Nobody will reward you for replying to your emails, or for the time spend in meetings. So make sure you work on what produces visible results.
The “recipe” above is not for everybody. Some of you are more productive in the evening, and have a hard time waking up early. For some regular exercise is not an option.
Cultivating a habit or changing one takes discipline and commitment. Find out what works for you, and stick to it.
I would love to hear your tips for being more productive. Please share them with us in the Comments section below.