Automated marketing is a great way to streamline your marketing department and make sure that you can expand your reach and your customer base. In some cases, however, so-called automated marketing can take up a great deal more time than you think. Are you aware of how long your automated marketing tasks really take–and of where your time drains are? Consider how these strategies can help you become more aware of where you’re wasting time in your day–and how to reclaim it.
- Take a look at how long you spend on miscellaneous tasks.
In many cases, miscellaneous tasks–those not really related to any specific goal or marketing campaign–can leave you scratching your head, wondering where the time has gone. To help you better keep track of those miscellaneous tasks, make a note of those tasks as you complete them throughout the day. For several weeks, keep track of how much of your time each day is spent on those tasks, whether it’s managing your email lists or sorting through and updating existing content. You may want to list the specific tasks you take care of on a regular basis and consider how those impact your overall campaign.
- Try a time tracking app.
A time tracking app will automate the process of keeping up with what you’re doing every day. It’s all too easy to lose track of what you’re really doing during the day, whether it’s spending a little too long at the water cooler or dealing with those miscellaneous tasks related to your marketing automation processes. A time tracking app can make it easier to keep up with what you’ve really done during the day, including:
Time tracking apps can keep up with what you’re doing on your devices throughout the day. They can let you know which programs and apps you use the most often, which projects you’ve spent the most time on, and where your time drains might be. As you use these apps, you’ll often discover that your productivity goes up because you can keep up with your actual time usage.
- Keep up with your transitions.
Transitioning from one task to the next can take up more of your time than you think throughout the day. Transitions between one job and another can transform your productivity. An effective transition may include taking a 5 to 10 minute break between tasks to help clear your mind and make it easier for you to focus on the new activity. Spending too much time on transitions, however, can completely destroy your productive flow throughout the day. If you have many transitions in your daily task list, including handling those important marketing automation tasks, you may need to group similar activities together to make it easier to take care of them.
- Note how interruptions impact your flow.
Simply experiencing distraction in the middle of a task can, in some tasks, take much more time than you think: it can take as much as 25 minutes to fully return your focus to the task you were taking care of before the distraction. Often, distraction begets distraction: when you walk or click away to take care of one distraction, you find other things that need your attention. Even though some of your marketing tasks, including emails and social media posts, may occur automatically, you may need to take care of other things on your own: answering customer comments and emails or posting fresh content about recent industry events, for example. Keep an eye on how those interruptions impact the daily flow of your work–and how much time they take away from your other tasks.
Improving Your Time Management Skills
As you track your time more effectively, including noting how interruptions and distractions impact your ability to complete your job responsibilities, you may discover that many of your so-called simple work responsibilities take a considerably longer portion of your day than you initially thought. Do you need to improve your time management skills to make it easier to handle all of the tasks on your marketing agenda? Consider some of these strategies.
- Minimize Interruptions
Take a look at the interruptions that are most likely to spend your day spinning off-course, including the ones that are most likely to result in excess distraction. You may need to turn off your phone or ignore your emails while you’re working on other tasks, especially tasks that require a great deal of attention.
- Set a Timer for Transitions
When you know there’s a transition coming, set a timer. You can take five to ten minutes to refocus and get ready for the new task, but don’t allow those transitions to drag out for too long. Instead, get back to work as soon as possible.
- Schedule Handling Marketing Automation Tasks
Your marketing might be automated, but there are many tasks you’ll need to take care of on your own. You will, for example, need to create the social media posts you have scheduled. You’ll need to write the emails that are part of your automated marketing processes. Once those tools have been created, they’ll be posted automatically–but in the meantime, you have to create them. Around the holidays, during new sales, or when you take on new products or services, you may need to change or review your current content and put together new content. As you develop a better idea of how long it will take you to take care of those tasks, you can work them into your schedule for the day so that you aren’t left scrambling to complete everything on your list.
As a marketing professional, time management is essential. Even the processes you automate require your time, energy, and attention, whether you’re creating those processes, creating the content that goes into them, or reviewing your content to ensure that it meets your needs. Learning how to manage your time effectively can help propel you to greater marketing success and remove a great deal of stress from your day. Want to learn more about how automation can help? Contact us today.