In the modern world of infinite distractions just one click away, it can be tough to really bunker down and stay productive.
In fact, around 65% of workers today say they regularly surf the web for non-work-related reasons on their employer’s dime. Part of it is undoubtedly a lack of discipline, but boosting your productivity doesn’t actually have to be a grueling process.
There are a number of incredibly powerful techniques you can use each and every day to help upgrade your marketing productivity and get back on task.
So, have a look at these 5 marketing productivity hacks and supercharge your workflow starting right now.
1. Break up your workflow
While there’s definitely something to be said about powering through a cumbersome task, research has shown that taking the time to step away from the work can be instrumental in keeping productivity at an all-time high.
The Pomodoro Technique, for example, follows a 25/5 productivity timeline, where 25 minutes are dedicated solely and completely to a single task with a 5-minute break afterward. You go through four intervals of the 25/5 timeline before taking a longer 15-25 minute break. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a full-on break either. It can come in the form of switching over to answering emails or following up on a project with a coworker.
Anything to give your mind a bit of time off from the task.
2. Email responsibly
Streamlining your email time can lead to a huge boon in freed up time and resources. To put things into perspective, about a quarter of an average worker’s day is spent reading and answering emails according to Inc.
Part of the reason is people tend to answer emails as they come in. Instead of responding reactively, the best way to ensure continuous workflow and keep your concentration on the task at hand is by setting time aside later to clean out your inbox.
Tools like Mailstrom group related messages to make it easier to respond to the most important emails first. In addition, you can set a silent function so you will not be notified of new emails until a designated time you set to respond to them.
You can also regularly update your retention settings and unsubscribe from old and unwanted lists as well to help weed out some of the unnecessary clutter.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
There have never been so many different responsibilities to juggle in the workplace than there is today.
Project updates, correspondence with clients and coworkers, and a constant influx of emails all happen in the blink of an eye. And while you may think you’re being productive by tackling 12 different issues at once, the truth is that single-tasking is by far the smarter option.
That, of course, isn’t to say that you should save fixing a marketing department disaster for another day. There are exceptions.
But making the conscious effort to stay on one task at a time can help boost your productivity tenfold. Department of Informatics Professor Gloria Mark from the University of California, Irvine, told Fast Company that “82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed on the same day. But here’s the bad news – it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.” If you rapidly switch between tasks, think about how many 23 minute chunks get wasted. This time cost is called “context switching.”
4. Take advantage of automation in the workplace
A recent State of Enterprise Work Report discovered that only 44% of an individual’s day is spent performing the primary duties of their role. What about the other 56%? Tasks like administrative work, useless meetings, and interruptions all stand out as the main time wasters.
For many digital marketers today social media, email and content creation take up the majority of a given day’s tasks. Given the burgeoning technological landscape though, there are a host of automation tools to help bear the brunt of the more labor-intensive tasks today.
Automated social media tools let you create and schedule social media posts weeks and even months into the future. Automating this mundane process allows social media marketers to focus on time-sensitive social media posts and engaging with followers in real time.
Content is at the center point of all marketing efforts. It’s how you communicate with customers and elicit emotion that causes them to buy. The problem for many company’s content marketing efforts is not only knowing what content to create but measuring its success in actual dollars earned.
Content curation tools like Scoop.it not only curate content from around the web based on your target keywords but will automatically analyze content that receives the highest engagement and leads. Marketers can use this information to promote existing content that has been shared recently and get ideas to create new content on these topics.
Segmenting lists, writing copy and designing emails are all labor-intensive tasks that used to be part of sending every email. Advanced email marketing platforms like GetResponse allow you to create personalized email campaigns to segments of your list once and automate future emails based on their behavior.
As subscribers engage with each email they are automatically sent the next email with content that’s relevant to their interests and behaviors. Since these emails and workflows are created in advance, marketers are able to focus on optimizing these campaigns rather than just creating them over and over.
5. Establish processes
Processes are incredibly important for marketing teams to stay efficient. Marketers don’t want to reinvent the wheel for mundane or repetitive tasks.
Processes have been around for a long time. One of the most well known and successful implementations of processes comes from American statistician William Edwards Deming. Deming created “The Toyota Way” processes that focused on continuous improvement which completely revamped the company’s manufacturing capabilities.
Marketers can use this same process of continual improvement to become more efficient and produce better and better results. A simplistic way to do this is to create an ongoing checklist for things like content creation and social media management.
SproutSocial created a social media checklist for managers to ensure daily, weekly,monthlyh and quarterly tasks are met. As you identify which messages perform best, iterate and improve on the content for future posts.
Boost your marketing productivity
In the business world, time is money. And when you or your employees are spending valuable time on inefficient tasks, that can translate into a significant loss over weeks and years, especially when productivity is limited in the marketing department.
These five productivity hacks will help you get your workflow back on track and start bringing in customers in droves.