“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life,” said Victor Hugo. In this era of cut-throat competition, success largely depends on one crucial factor: time management.
Time management is not a new concept. The theory can be traced back to 1791 when Benjamin Franklin wrote his autobiography, in which he highlighted the importance of tracking and noting his daily activities. Another major breakthrough in time management was Lett’s diary.
First introduced in 1812 by John Letts, the diary allowed merchants to manage their work effectively. By 1820s, the diary had become a necessity of daily life. Since then, the time management field has evolved considerably.
From to-do lists and calendars to time tracking apps, technology has made time management fairly simple and easy. Latest software such as CRMs has also made it possible for managers to track where their teams are spending time.
In this fast-paced world, keeping a track of time has become imperative, especially for marketing professionals, who need to be on their toes all the time; one slight lag can give competitors a considerable edge. Here are some time management hacks that marketing professionals can use to make the best use of their time.
Focus On Tasks Linked To Revenue
It is often easier to stay busy and still not achieve anything substantial. Often we get lost in emails, notifications and long meetings that do not affect the bottom line and in the end, it all boils down to revenue generation.
Hence, it is better to allocate maximum time to activities that bring in the cash. Overwhelmed by emails? One way to effectively manage them is by using online tools such as SaneBox. Sanebox basically prioritizes each email as it comes in, based on past interactions.
If an email is important according to Sanebox, it will keep it in your inbox, otherwise it will send it to another folder. Sanebox can be trained over time to filter more effectively. This useful tool comes with three pricing plans. The basic plan starts around $7 and manages one email inbox.
Apply The 80/20 Rule
First described in 1895 by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, the 80/20 or the Pareto rule states that 20% of our activities are responsible for 80% of results. The rule was initially used to describe wealth distribution.
However, it has been an important concept in time management as well. According to the 80/20 rule, you can cut down a significant chunk of your to-do list and focus on few things that are important. In this way, you will be able to effectively prioritize tasks that really matter.
Categorize Your Tasks
In his book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey has described a time management grid. The grid categorizes tasks into four categories: urgent and important, urgent and not important, not urgent and important, and not urgent and not important.
According to the author, there is always a conflict between importance and urgency. We tend to focus only on tasks that are urgent and often they might not be important. An example of an urgent, but not important task includes unnecessary meetings and phone calls that distract and waste time.
We usually ignore tasks that are not urgent, but important. Examples of such task include building relationships with customers, planning, working on a project that isn’t due soon etc. Although, these tasks don’t have immediate consequences, focusing on them yields better results.
Following the grid doesn’t mean that you don’t do urgent and not important tasks. The idea is to not respond to such tasks immediately and set up a time for them. Also, focus more on tasks that are important, but not urgent. “I find it’s easiest to start my day by identifying what absolutely needs to get done today, and then I do the hardest thing first. After that, I focus on the important but not urgent tasks, like recruiting,” says Corbett Drummey, CEO of Popular Pays.
Delegate And Outsource
You cannot be one man army and expect to achieve everything. If you want to get more things done in less time, you need to delegate trivial tasks to your team. Also, you can outsource highly skilled or repetitive tasks to companies that specialize in them so you can focus on your core strengths.
For example, you could outsource your brand’s social media management to a digital marketing agency. SEO can be difficult to manage, especially when you’re short on time and resources. Hence, leaving it to the experts can save you both time and money.
Learn To Say No
Time is your most valuable resource. You do not need to say yes to every little thing that gets thrown at you. For effective time management, you need to learn to say no to things that only eat up your time and take you nowhere. If you try to please everyone, you will end up hurting yourself in the end.
You need to respect your time and limits. Saying no can sometimes prove to be difficult, but your life will become easier once you start practicing it. Moreover, in this way, you will make room for opportunities that matter and bring you closer to your goal.
Every day we get 1,440 minutes and our success depends on how effectively we manage to utilize them. In today’s world, only those people who can master time can manage to stay ahead. Time management allows you to take control of your life.
You also tend to make better decisions when you are not pressed for time; you tend to evaluate all your choices and pick the best one. Practicing good time management creates discipline in your life and leads to higher productivity.
It allows you to focus on quality rather than quantity. When you are on a run, you are more likely to be stressed and frustrated. By guarding your time, you can accomplish more with less effort.