Who these days isn't a slave to to their mobile device? Constant contact with a world of information and the latest trends can keep you at the top of your game -- but it can also drag you down. And with many businesses struggling, marketers are under increasing pressure to deliver better results, faster. Falling prey to time management traps or a lack of efficiency could herald the victory of your competition and leave you choking on their dust. To avoid this unseemly scenario, incorporate the following time management tips into your day:
1. Create a daily plan
If you don't have a plan for your workday, you won't be as effective as you could be. Each afternoon or evening, create a list of tasks that must be accomplished the following day. Consider the system developed by Stephen Covey, who suggests that you divide your tasks into three lists: items you must complete (such as attending meetings or tackling projects with deadlines), tasks that would be nice to complete but aren't urgent, and jobs that can easily be put off until later. This system allows you to track all of your chores and simply transfer over to the next day any items that have yet to be completed.
2. Minimize and eliminate interruptions
Commit to checking your emails and other messages only at scheduled intervals throughout the day. If your business allows it, limit yourself to two to three times. For instance, check once in the morning, again at lunchtime, and one last time before you go home. And if you have an instant message function on your smartphone, consider turning it off during business hours. Knowing how to minimize interruptions is the easy part. Doing it successfully requires discipline and even practice. Don't be surprised if your new system requires a period of adjustment.
3. Take breaks
Taking breaks is one of the best ways to better manage your time, although it may seem counterintuitive. Resist the urge to work through lunch and instead use the time to relax. In addition, schedule personal time throughout the day. By taking the time to periodically decompress and recharge yourself, you will ultimately be less distracted and more productive.
4. Know when you're at your best
Many people are much more productive during certain times of the day. Are you a morning person, or do you work more effectively and efficiently after lunch? Identify when you are most productive and schedule complex projects and responsibilities accordingly. Use the rest of the day for minor or ancillary tasks.
When you take breaks, do your best to not focus on your job. If you tend to eat lunch with coworkers, resist the urge to talk about work, and make the conversation more personal. Also, don't feel bad about getting up from your work space and clearing your head a few times per day.
Time management can be a struggle for marketers these days. Implement a daily plan that incorporates all these tips to make it less hard on you.
What additional time management tips can you suggest?