It is the one thing we cannot control or do anything about it.
You feel like you have an infinite amount of it, but in reality, you have a very limited amount of it. You aren’t aware of it.
It’s lost when it is lost.
Everyone knows how precious and gifted it is, yet a very few learn how to manage it. And those who does it become highly successful.
You probably have guessed it.
Yes, I’m talking about TIME.
Time management is one of the essential skill everyone needs to master to succeed.
Let me be honest with you.
I’m not a time management expert. But, I’ve learned my way around it.
I’ve had my moments of highly productive days, days where nothing happened and mixed ones. I’m attending workshops on getting things done and others to improve my efficiency and reduce the wastage.
It’s a work in progress. It is something I really want to keep improving.
As someone who juggles with course creation, blogging, emails, social media, events, training programs, and an agency, I know how important it is for digital marketers to get time management right and this post is to help you do so.
In this blog post, I’m listing the 5 time management secrets I’ve learned from successful digital marketers.
Let’s get to them.
#1: Set Time Limits
Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law?
It’s something we are all familiar with but never understood.
According to it, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Now you might recognize it.
You probably have spent a day on writing an email reply or coming with the idea for the next blog post or a social media post or picking the right image or a template or a tool.
But, it all changes when you set specific time limits.
Let’s say you want to create the outline for your next blog post. Set yourself a specific time and focus on the task. You can use the countdown timer on mobile or Google.
You’ll be amazed to see you could complete the work within the time limit you set instead of spending the whole day on it. You can apply the technique to all of your work and see your productivity skyrocketing.
#2: Don’t Multitask
I know it’s a shocker.
We all believe we can multitask and handle more. But it’s not.
It’s a myth we were conned into.
In truth, our brain performs much better when it focuses on one task.
While multitasking, the brain has to stop one process, switch and align to another function, then stop that process to get back to the previous process.
It takes as much as twice the time to complete one task because of all the stopping, switching and aligning.
So, don’t multitask.
Also, avoid distractions. Distractions also cause the similar stop, switch, align effect on the brain causing the delay in completing the work.
#3: Take Regular Breaks
Working non-stop and burning midnight oil are not the best productive habits.
Our body works better when it gets regular rest. It’s hardwired to pulse and performs best when you renew the energy at regular intervals.
So, work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minutes break or 50 minutes and take 10 minutes break.
Stretch your legs.
Take a walk.
Drink some water.
Talk to your colleague.
Look at something other than your screen, or do anything you want.
But, take the break. You’ll be able to complete a lot with those breaks then without them.
#4: Plan & Visualize Your Day Ahead
Spend a few minutes in the night on planning your next day. What tasks you want to complete and Which order you want to complete them – make a plan. Visualize your day.
You can save an hour or so when it comes to the execution part. Since your mind is already tuned in to those tasks, you’ll be able to complete them in less time than it usually takes.
You’ll also have less chaos or spend less time thinking about what to do next.
And you’ll be more relaxed, alert, and responsive.
If it’s not possible to do it in the night, you can do it as the first thing in the morning. Plan your day and visualize it.
#5: The Two-Ticks Method
You’ll have a lot on your plate. You’ll have emails to respond, blog posts to write, social media posts to schedule, KPI’s to measure, meetings to attend, and so on. But, how to pick the right task to attend.
In such situations, I use two-ticks method.
Take a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet, list all the tasks in front of you.
Draw to columns next to those tasks and name them urgent & important.
Now grade each of the tasks and put a tick mark in the columns accordingly.
If the task is urgent and important, then put ticks in each of the columns.
Then apply this
If it is
Urgent and important, then do it immediately or next.
Not urgent, but important, then put it in the diary or in the to-do list to do later.
Urgent, but not important, then delegate it to someone else and
Neither urgent or important, trash it.
That’s it. Simple and effective method to choose and do the work that really matters and creates impact.
And of course, I have the list of our usual culprits who steal our time as a digital marketer.
Don’t be on social media when you should be doing something else. It is easy to get lost and lose the sense of time and work.
Schedule and automate your social media posts. You are a digital marketer, and you should be using automation.
Turn off your mobile or put it in silent mode and keep it face-down when you are working. Keep specific mobile minutes to check and respond. This is probably the hardest of all to follow but will yield the maximum results.
Don’t check your emails and IMs all day along. Schedule a specific time to check them and respond.
In short, time management is critical for our success and, it is the skill of the hour. We digital marketers can hugely benefit if we manage our time little more effectively.
What’s your favorite time management tip?
Have I missed one?