Want to accomplish more in less time? It would be hard to find a brand manager who doesn’t. Successful brand management is often about making the most of limited resources, and your most limited resource of all is time. However, rushing or cutting corners in an effort to squeeze 16 hours out of an 8-hour workday inevitably backfires. Don’t rely on ineffective strategies and make careless mistakes that cost more time than they save. Instead, try these proven productivity hacks to simultaneously increase productivity and effectiveness.
Dodging Distraction as a Brand Manager
Peter Turla once said, “Don’t get sidetracked stomping on ants when you have elephants to feed.” Brand managers who hope to increase productivity should remember this motto. There’s no bigger efficiency killer than daily distractions. They may seem small, but each moment you pause to “stomp” one out is a moment wasted. These tips will help you stay focused:
Fight the Urge to Click Away
The average person will spend over five years of their life on social media platforms. Imagine what you could accomplish as a brand manager in that time! Each minute you resist the urge to scroll through your timeline is a minute you can dedicate to more important projects. But ignoring the siren’s song of your social network isn’t always easy. These quick tips can help:
- Turn off desktop and mobile notifications.
- Use an app like Toggl to track the time you spend on social sites.
- Dedicate a specific hour in the day to social media. Set a timer and stick to your schedule.
- Try apps like Selfcontrol or Cold Turkey which block distracting websites for you.
- Did you just discover an interesting article or website? Avoid getting sucked into a clickbait wormhole. Bookmark the page and return to it after the day’s work is complete.
Take an Earlier Coffee Break
Busy brand managers don’t need to be reminded to drink coffee—the natural energy booster is an office staple for a reason. But you may be surprised to know that when you time your trip to the coffee pot matters. A recent study conducted at Baylor University found that the more time that passed between arriving at the office and filling up a cup, the less effective it was in boosting productivity. So, if your daily pick-me-up is letting you down, try scheduling it earlier in the day.
Use the Best Tools a Brand Manager Can Use to Increase Productivity
It’s much easier to increase daily productivity when you rely on the right tools. Here are a few every efficient brand manager should have in their toolbox:
Social Scheduler. Tools like Hootsuite and Hubspot make it possible to schedule an entire month of social media posts in a single day. More than that, their organizational and monitoring tools allow brand managers to discover relevant content quickly and dive into the dialogue without wasting hours scrolling.
Digital Asset Management System. Organization is a major key to productivity. A Digital Asset Management System makes storing and organizing digital collateral a breeze. A brand manager can even set different permission levels to allow members of their team to quickly and easily access the exact files they need. The right DAM system can save your team a lot of time—and headaches!
Marketing Templates. Ensuring brand compliance is one of the main responsibilities of a brand manager. The more designers, social media managers, and digital marketing professionals a brand manager works with, the more consistency is threatened. Marketing Templates are an immense help. With these custom templates, brand managers can easily delegate marketing tasks without worrying about major compliance issues.
The hours they save overseeing projects and making rounds of edits and approvals can lead to a major decrease in cycle times and a huge increase in productivity. Marketing templates make each member of your team more effective so the collective improvement in efficiency can be very significant.
Project Management Tools. Today’s marketing teams rarely spend all their work hours in the same office. With colleagues traveling for conferences, remote workers, and outsourced teams, keeping track of tasks in collaborative projects isn’t easy. Avoid endless email chains, unnecessary meetings, or wasting time waiting for others to complete and deliver tasks. Tools like MindMeister make tracking tasks and even group brainstorming simple. Choose the system that fits your team best and watch your productivity grow!
As your brand management toolbox fills up, don’t be afraid to do some decluttering. While it may seem tempting to adopt the latest app or Chrome extension, as these productivity helpers stack up, they can end up having the reverse effect on efficiency. Is there one tool that could be doing the work of three? Schedule a yearly or quarterly “tool audit” to identify ineffective apps and discover new ways to streamline.
Time Management is Productivity Management
When it comes down to it, increasing productivity is really about improving how you spend your time. The adage “work smarter, not harder” definitely applies here. Try the following strategies to make the most of your workweek:
Institute No Meeting Wednesdays
This idea comes from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. According to the tech leader, banning mid-week meetings made a big impact on productivity at Facebook HQ. “With very few exceptions, everyone’s calendar is completely clear at least one day out of the week whether you are a maker or manager,” he says. “This is an invaluable tool for ensuring you have some contiguous space to do project work. For me personally, it is often the one day each week I get to code.” This day could be the perfect time for you to research new financial marketing solutions, or to simply clear your inbox. What could you and your team accomplish during “No Meeting Wednesday?”
Follow the Two-Minute Rule
I have a two-minute rule that says: If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it. If you don’t avoid the question about what’s the next step, lots of two minute items could be done right then.
Now, there are many times that you have a next step that’s going to take longer amount of time, like drafting some big new spreadsheet. You wouldn’t want to do that in two minutes. It’s a good idea to keep a whole lot of little things to do when you get those strange little windows of time, like clean up old e-mails, or purge some of your files. There’s a lot of things around me to do when I get a weird little window of time and when I don’t have a lot of energy. Let’s say I finished a big phone call and I don’t have another one for seven minutes, I’m likely to just be cleaning spam out of my e-mails or you know purging a file, or perhaps going and getting a cup of coffee.
The two-minute rule won’t just help you check items off your to-do list—it’ll also make you less likely to waste the hours when you’re energized and focused on mindless tasks.
Shave Down Cycle Time with Marketing Automation
With automated, or “trigger” marketing campaigns, brand managers and marketers can deliver highly personalized content and make the most of their consumer data. Did you know that BlueSky ETO Automated Marketing Campaigns can reduce campaign management time by up to 80%? Today, 79% of companies that are classified as “top performing” have been using marketing automation for at least two years. It’s no surprise why—marketing automation reduces the need to micromanage and delivers highly-targeted collateral at lightning speed.
As you continue striving to increase productivity, consider this: Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” One hour this week spent evaluating how you manage time and tackle tasks can save countless hours down the road. So, what are you waiting for? Comment below and tell us which of these tips you’ll commit to trying this week. Then subscribe to the Brand Management Blog to have the latest insights and industry trends delivers directly to your mailbox.
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