Working solo makes you really zone in on your time management skills - more so than I ever did in the corporate world. I've found that especially recently I've really had to take stock of what I'm taking on and prioritize.
I recently got asked if I could multitask and if I was able to handle stressful situations in a work scenario. A totally valid question but when asked this, I nearly broke out in hysterics.
Since I graduated in 2001 (showing my age here...lol), I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off - not all to do with my chosen profession but it has a lot (A LOT) to do with it.
My advice to those people just entering the field who think they are signing up for a 9-5 job - you are sorely mistaken.
Whatever area you are in of marketing, as I've touched a number of them for a number of firms in a number of places, you will most definetly be working early/late, you will definetly be annoyed with silly deadlines/requests and you will have to deal with it or go. Sorry to be so blunt, but in my experience, it is what it is....but I still love it!
One of my big goals in life is to maintain a solid work/life balance - not always but on average.
Since I love my career too much to pack it in and I realize I will sometimes have to work long hours and deal with potentially unreasonable requests, I make other changes to balance life out. I also take a step back and realize why I'm doing it to begin with and make sure to take time out for myself.
The point of this weeks blog is to highlight the time poor life of a marketer (especially in this day-and-age) but more importantly offer suggestions to how we can manage time better and still have a decent work/life balance.
1) Take 5-10 minutes every morning to write out (acheivable) goals for the day - include deadlines for the day, milestones (i.e. "If I finish this by 10am, I'll make myself a coffee) and build in breaks
2) Be realistic - even though most of us think we are superwoman (or superman) we are only human
3) Think long-term first and work back - too many of us only think in the here & now - understand the big picture and prioritize accordingly
4) Be flexible - realize that emergencies do happen and rejigging your schedule doesn't mean its the end of the world. Often the time you spend getting worked up about changes, you could be working to finish what's needed
5) Disable your internet (if you can) - while you are working on a specific project, I find it useful to stop the temptation of checking everything flying into your inbox. This is especially hard in this digital age but try.
6) Meeting meltdown - especially in offices, try to ensure the ones you attend are for a specific purpose aimed at acheiving specific results
7) Take lunch and aim to leave on time most of the time - even though you will have to work late or eat at your desk sometimes, make this the minority overall. It will make you happier with the job and force you to be more efficient when you are working.
Those are some of my top tips on how to help us struggling marketers manage our time better.
I'd like to make this an outlet for your suggestions - selfishly for me but more importantly for marketers everywhere.
Have a productive week & please comment away!!