I am no stranger to procrastination. I doubt myself more than I’d like to admit and often my staunch awareness of under performance can be astonishing (whether or not someone has pointed it out to me). Nonetheless, as someone who has been working in the digital domain, every day is a struggle to do better and get more done. And as I get busier by the day with ‘urgent’ emails overloading my inbox as we speak I can feel the stress getting to me. But I have stumbled upon few life-hacks and made some critical professional lifestyle choices that seemingly make me more productive and help me get things done! Let me share my top three easy-to-incorporate recommendations that any digital marketer can practice just as well:
1. Do less than a lot; Do more than none:
I approach nervous breakdown when suddenly faced with something terribly urgent that needs to be done on the fly. While there are some days I cannot avoid being in such a position, other days I try and stick to a list which I call ‘3 most important things I need to get done today.’ I have somehow failed to do more than 3 significant things in a day, and if at all I have managed to complete more I have not been able to do so as well as I would hope to. If I try and accommodate too many things in my day I tend to finish barely half by the end of the said day and the rest just gets piled onto my to-do-list for the next day.
Here’s how I avoid it. I use a project management software to pretty much plan my life. Each morning I enlist 3 important tasks I need to get done (priority assigned to each) until I call it a day. Unless I get them done, my work desk remains my ultimate companion. (Even this blog post was written sitting at a coffee shop in between a meeting and lunch date so as to not delay it any further)
2. Assign a dedicated time slot for any kind of social media activity:
While social channel managers and community managers cannot really fend themselves from doing minute-by-minute reactive work (which is certainly important at times) it is always better to plan and routinize as many aspects of social media activities as possible. There are many great one-stop web applications and editorial calendars out there for content management and these do help minimize the so-called passive-reactive social media actions. Hootsuite is uber-popular for planning and scheduling content publishing and, being a blog writer, I have gotten around with WordPress CMS quiet comfortably.
Even personally, it is quiet easy to get distracted by social media as and when we get pinged by a tweet or a comment on our respective profiles. But then again I have chosen to allot only particular intervals of indulgence into the same for fear that you may find my head buried into Facebook every other minute otherwise.
3. Do not let emails dictate your day:
I check my emails about 5 times in a day, that’s it. If I scout my inbox any more I’d be too aware of all the un-important things that need to be done (even if not immediately) and I’d be lost trying to accommodate every request. In a sincere effort to retain my sanity, I start the day before and sort out emails that need to be addressed immediately (they often become a part of my ‘3 important tasks’ list). Those that need to be answered ASAP are diligently provided that end while all others are accommodated as a mention in my to-doist with an appropriate priority tag. It’s a lifestyle choice I admit, but that’s how I work best. Additionally, I try and inform when I am unavailable and if it’s really that important I’d rather call/be called than having to await someone’s reply over an email.
For everything else, I am sure there is a web application that can handle it better and make life easier.