What is the biggest struggle of a marketer today? (I will use the word marketer but I will also include everyone who is working in social media, email marketing, display advertising, PR, online communication, content marketing or others in the marketing industry).
I believe that you already heard that “we all have the same amount of time” and I 100% agree with that.
But we’re all different, with different work types, with different lifestyles and with different context. It’s like we all have a cup of coffee to drink, but some of us like it with a lot of milk, some of us with sugar and others only black.
So even if we have the same amount of time, we don’t use it the same way.
And when you have your own personal blog, you are a marketer, you use social media daily, love to be updated on the news and keep tracking on what to do to be better at your job, you have some time issues.
I admit, I was in that position and there were days when I had headaches and didn’t know what to do to accomplish what I had to do. Yes, I have my own burnouts too!
But I started talking with other marketers and began a research on what they do to be more productive, to save more time and do their job in a more consistent way.
And I found 8 *ingredients* that help me save more time every day and I want to share them with you.
Some of them are my personal ideas and some of them I borrowed from others. Maybe it will suit you, maybe it won’t. It depends on you.
Every time I start my day I’m taking the pen and paper and write down all the tasks I have to do. I just love the moment when I finish a task and then I check the point (draw the line). Oh… that moment of accomplishment!
I tried to use digital apps to write down those checklists, but I found out that the best way for me is to use a pen and paper. It also helped me to take a pause from the internet for a few moments.
Sometimes I write my to-do list with bullet points and other times I create 2 columns: urgency (priority) and normal. This way I can understand which one is important and needs to be done right now and the others that I can postpone.
Creating lists helped me be more organized and also made me plan my day better.
I have my own check list
Let’s say that there is an article that everybody is sharing it and you click on the link just because you have the FOMO anxiety (and we all do). But the article is very long and you don’t have time to read it because you are on a deadline. So what are you doing?
Let me tell you what I’m doing. I save it in my Pocket. Exactly. The app that helped me save time by saving for later the articles that I didn’t have the time to read at a certain moment. This way I can read the article whenever I’m traveling or I just want to read something good. Pocket is my ‘to read later’ app
I believe that if you are a content marketer and you write a lot, you should also read a lot. So Pocket will be your best friend. The UI and UX are great on it and it also has a Chrome and Firefox extension.
Curating content is a good habit for a smart content marketer.
I also use Nuzzel so I know which article had a blast and deserves my attention.
I don’t read right away everything on the internet
There are moments when we have a great idea and while shopping or when we are waiting in line. Our brain is focusing better when he is doing nothing. I bet you had great ideas while showering! That’s because your brain is relaxed and couldn’t work better.
But what are you doing with that idea? Maybe you think that if you had it once, you will have it again another time when you need it. I doubt it. Or maybe you can, because as I said in the introduction, we are different human kinds. (You’re one lucky human being then!)
I have an idea box that is helping me every time I have an idea for a project I’m working on or just a thought that I can write it down.
This idea box is Notion. A simple app that is helping me write down my ideas.
And how is Notion helping me save time?
Whenever I’m writing a blog post I already have the idea written down, so I don’t need to start looking at other stuff to find inspiration. I already have my own inspiration, with my personal ideas in my Notion.
My own idea box
I have an idea box that is helping me every time I have an idea for a project
If you want to be good at something, you should start working on a habit that it’s helping you grow.
I love to blog, so I’m trying my best to keep it updated. But it’s hard, because blogging is stealing time and also taking my energy. And let’s admit that bloggers have hard time with it.
I changed my blogging strategy a little bit and I’m blogging just once a week (and sometimes 2 times a week). I use this strategy after I read Paul Jarvis‘s newsletter called “Sunday Dispatches” that is sending every Sunday. And from what I can see by now, it’s a good strategy.
Why? Because I want to give you the best content I can create. So in this way I can focus more on quality than quantity. And also I know that we don’t have enough time to read everything on the internet, so I must respect the time of my readers.
I try to be the first one at the office, so in that case I can make my coffee and sit down at the desk and start writing. Early in the morning there is no noise and traffic on the social media so they can’t disturb me. I turn on my favorite music and I start writing.
I’m trying to make it a habit but for now, I can say that it helped me create blog posts that are not even published but they will be somewhere in the future and now I can focus on the other part of the day at work.
So this way I don’t need an entire day to work for a piece of blog post.
But maybe you are not a morning person and you work better at night. It doesn’t matter. Write it whenever you want but try to make it a habit that can save you time, in the present and in the future.
Write at the first hour in the morning
When I’m working, I don’t answer my phone and I also stop all my notifications. The only notification I have is the SMS, that’s because I believe that when somebody is sending me a message it’s more important than somebody who is texting me on Facebook or other chat apps.
I stopped every notification from every social media app I have on my smartphone.
I don’t want to be disturbed by anything while I’m working. In this case I can focus more on my work and less on other things. And after I finish the work I can look at the phone and check my notifications.
I stopped every notification from every social media app I have on my smartphone.
When I’m at the office, I get lots and lots of information that I want to see and I usually open the tabs that I want to check later. But when I’m working on something, like writing a blog post for <a href=”http://bannersnack.com”>Bannersnack</a>, or for my personal projects, I close every single tab. Or move on a separate page without any other disruptive tabs.Why? Because I don’t want to see anything on my browser that can disrupt my work.
I close the unwanted tabs
I don’t want to see anything that can disrupt my work.
I didn’t understand the power of small breaks during the daily work until I had a few burnouts. Then I started taking a few small breaks on my daily work, even if there are 5 or 10 minutes of walking, talking with somebody on the phone (friends or family, somebody out of the work space) or even listening a piece of music.
But it’s funny, how can you save more time when taking breaks?
You’re taking the small breaks so you can do a better job. Because you need to rest and clear your mind. You are not a robot who is working 24/7. Even if there are people who can work 10 or 12 or even 14 hours a day it doesn’t mean that everybody should do. For me, <strong>it’s a great strategy to save more time.
I take short breaks
How can you save more time when taking breaks?
Do you want to save more time? Shut down the internet for a few moments, or even a whole day.
Find the days when you don’t stay on the internet. Find those days when you do something else than working or reading online articles.
Have 1 or 2 days per week when you close the internet, don’t use social media and don’t read any blogs or online news.This will help you save even more time for yourself, your friends and family. Trust me.
I’m not saying that I’m using these things every day in order to save more time and be more productive. I’m just telling you that these 8 points helped me be more organized with my job, save more time for myself and also made me more effective in my work.
Now back to you, what you are doing in a constant way so you can save more time?