A theme has been consistently popping up in my day to day conversations regarding the rapid pace of the digital marketing world. These discussions have gone on to expand upon how difficult it is to keep up. Today, the Twittersphere was abuzz sharing an ebook titled, “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work,” published by the Founder & CEO at Basecamp. I’m curious… How many of us are in this overwhelmed boat together and how do we navigate day to day stress?
I’m no expert on this topic, but this was my Monday morning headspace: “I’ve got to remember to start calling Adwords “Google Ads”, that parallel tracking will be automatically enabled at the end of the month and email the client back about finalizing their Facebook Ads manager… I have a call in an hour to talk shop… shopping feeds and I need to finish my blog post by the end of the day. By mid-week I need to have my presentation outline finalized and before that I need to… … …”
If this sounds at all familiar I encourage you to turn on your lavender filled diffuser, strike a yoga pose and find that tune in your head that will keep the stressful days and nights at bay.
If you aren’t mapping out your time often you can into a habit of wasting it. I recently started implementing two standard productivity tactics that have helped me streamline my work day and week. At the beginning, middle and end of the week I map out what I would like to accomplish on a white board. After mapping out my plan for the week, I begin to prioritize how I am going to tackle what I would like to achieve. I sort my tasks by day by what can be done by day and consider time for the unknown to inevitably pop up. I also identify which tasks on my priority list can be pushed to the next day or week. A second tactic I have implemented into my day is carving out focused time each day to complete the top two tasks. It’s a half bought in version of the pomodoro method. Toggle does a great job explaining time blocking in the real world.
One of the many reasons I might hire an agency (and a huge reason I love working at an agency) is the ability to lean on a team. The team structure allows us to divide, conquer and provide expert level service in many areas. The team that produces the amazing content you see on PPCHero all have unique and special talents they bring to the table. If you have an external team, do some team soul searching and better understand where their passions lie and then build upon that. My personal passion is mentoring and my agency team consistently leans on me to help develop strong account managers. I have go to team mates for social, shopping, analysis, Amazon, which really takes the stress of out attempting to know it all. I also consider Google as part of my team. I Google everything before I reach out to ask a question. Maybe it’s my impatient nature, but Google is amazing, it’s always there and doesn’t make me wait for an answer.
(Kool and the Gang)
Allow yourself down time during the day to reenergize. Recently I was onsite at our Bloomington office and during our company retreat we took 15 minutes out of the day for an optional chair Yoga routine. It felt fantastic to get up and stretch. A list of a few great ways I provide myself with daily mental downtime are below:
- Turn on your favorite song and tackle your to-do list
- Go for a quick walk
- Fire up diffuser and fill it with Lavender (known for calm and focus)
- Grab your favorite soothing beverage
(Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney)
I read an article on the most productive habits of successful people and one of my favorite quotes was from Amber Jacobsen, Co-Founder and Director of Toby’s Estate, “I live by the rule that meetings are for decisions, not discussions.” I realize we don’t have the ability to set the tone for every meeting we participate in, but as a participant you do have the ability to gently redirect the conversation when it gets off track. This has become a speciality of mine having spent so many years working in an agency environment. Not your second nature, Lifehacker has a few great resources that will fill your meeting refocus toolbox.
My don’t worry be happy tactic is being able to compartmentalize work. Working remote gives new meaning to the saying “take work home with you.” I don’t have work email on my phone… If I have to check for an incoming email while away from my work space, I have to log in on my tiny phone and do a two step verification. This gives me a sense of comfort while I’m away from work that I can check email, but my phone is not throwing alerts at me every five seconds. One thing I have learned, however, is the ability to not worry is different for everyone. Many of my colleagues have shared that being disconnected actually causes them more anxiety. I encourage you to find your happy medium and don’t feel obligated to be dialed in at all times or to disconnect because it works for others.
Next time your Monday morning starts like this, “I’ve got to remember to start calling Adwords “Google Ads”, that parallel tracking will be automatically enabled at the end of the month and email the client back about finalizing their Facebook Ads manager… I have a call in an hour to talk shop… shopping feeds and I need to finish my blog post by the end of the day. By mid-week I need to have my presentation outline finalized and before that I need to… … …” Remember to map out a plan, lean on your team members, allow yourself some downtime, recall those tactics to refocus meetings and whistle along with me, “Don’t worry… Be Happy… Come on… Be Happy Now.”