Project management and resource management apps are essential resources for delegating, managing, and monitoring your marketing team’s productivity. While these applications can make an enormous improvement in workflow and collaboration, there are personal productivity hacks that can increase productivity even more.
If you’re seeking inspiration, you could do worse than look at the recent Business Insider article outlining life hacks shared by 22 successful entrepreneurs. But if you’re looking for some immediate and simple changes that you can make today, try out one or more of the following:
1. Turn Off Notifications
We are so used to being at everyone’s beck and call that it might seem crazy to suggest that you turn off your notifications. However, the constant buzz, whistle, or ring of texts, e-mails, and Facebook/Twitter updates can drain a lot of time out of your day. Turn off these alerts to stay focused on the task at hand and check on personal updates on your time – say, at lunch or after work.
2. Save Your Email for Later
Checking email first thing in the morning is an ingrained habit for most of us. However, your entire plan for the day can be thrown off track as you respond to other people’s needs. Stick to the plan for the day and schedule time to deal with your email for later in the day.
3. Change the Way You Look at Meetings
Most people see meetings as an integral component of the modern workforce. The truth is, with cloud-based software – such as project management, digital asset management, and online proofing apps – meetings are rarely necessary. If a meeting is necessary, take the time and prepare to make it effective, efficient, and worthy of attending. Keep it short and productive. A 30-minute meeting should easily be sufficient enough for appropriate discussion.
4. Prioritize Tasks
You are bound to have a long list of tasks to complete each day, from personal chores to aspects of a work project. Make a plan to tackle these tasks in a sensible order. Prioritize tasks, but rethink how you do so. Rather than order these things in order of importance, consider the amount of time they require. Anything that can be completed in less than two minutes (say scheduling a dentist appointment) should be done right away. Next, tackle the tasks that you’re dreading the most (getting these done will leave you mentally free to focus entirely on other projects). Finally, look at your remaining responsibilities and prioritize by order of importance or deadlines.
5. Just Say No
We all want to have a reputation for being a reliable coworker. However, if you are always saying “yes” to other peoples’ requests, eventually your work and productivity will suffer. You have enough responsibilities on your plate to keep you busy. Why add more? It’s okay to say no.
6. Take Advantage of Personal Productivity Tools
Outside of your marketing team’s project management applications, there are personal productivity tools you can use to help you better manage your day. Take a personal inventory of areas you want to improve and do some research. There is a large selection of tools that will make your day more productive.
7. Keep Realistic Goals
The best way to achieve goals is to ensure that they are attainable. Keep your goals realistic and silence your inner perfectionist. Work up to larger goals by first tackling smaller steps. Rely on others for help when necessary and don’t be afraid to delegate. You do not have to do everything on your own (or say yes to every request). Remember, as a marketing manager, you have a team at your disposal. Use them!
8. Take Care of Yourself
To be your best you have to feel your best and you can only do that by taking care of yourself. All the standard, cliché advice holds true: get enough sleep each night, drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, and exercise your mind and body.
9. Clean Off Your Desk
Clutter can be stress-inducing and make you feel anxious. It’s also a distraction when your mind wanders away from a project to focus on something on your desk. When you make the time and effort to clean your workspace, you’ll be more focused and productive.
Each of these hacks can certainly improve your personal productivity. The more of these that you can make a habit, the greater increase in personal productivity you will experience. Chances are you’ll feel better, too, and your work quality will also show an improvement.
What are some of your favorite personal productivity hacks? Share them in the comments below.