7 productivity hacks that will help you become a better marketer
We all have our morning routines. The things we do every day without even thinking about it.
Reply to social messages.
Check traffic and conversions.
In fact, they become so ingrained that it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. That’s why small tweaks to your morning routine can make such a big difference.
If you don’t know already, here at Talkwalker our focus is on helping people to use data and analytics to make an impact. We've talked to 1000s of data-driven marketing and communications professionals over the years, but the most successful ones always do a variation of the same things. Based on these conversations, here are 7 insider tips that will help you become more productive.
Productivity Hack #1 - Have a quick morning coordination meeting
More meetings? How could that possibly be more productive? Well, this is one based on personal experience.
If your marketing team is anything like ours, it’s a pretty collaborative environment but everyone has their own projects, too. Things are also pretty fluid. Deadlines change, people get pulled off to work on new projects and priorities shift constantly. Having this short 10 minute meeting each day helps to make sure we’re always on the same page. At Talkwalker, we each share the 3 most important things we're working on that day and resolve any workflow issues. This makes the whole team aware of everyone’s priorities and helps us identify possible blocks and opportunities for collaboration.
Before we brought it in, people were finding out key information at different times and doing work that was unnecessary. So, although it is another meeting, it saves tears and frustration later.
Tip: Try and keep it within 15 minutes as it’s easy for this meeting to drag on a bit.
Productivity Hack #2 - Check your alerts and notifications
What’s an alert, you say? It’s what we call the “frontline” of social listening. It costs nothing and gives you a quick daily view of what’s being said about your brand. Why is this important? It’s because it gives you a quick overview of what’s said about you, your industry or something else that’s been in the news. Personally, I have alerts set up to monitor mentions of Talkwalker, mentions of industry keywords (social listening, social media analytics etc), mentions of competitors and key people in my company.
Sometimes you may find items you need to act on straight away but often it’s a way to take the pulse of the day that doesn’t take too much of your time.
Tip: If you’re already a social listening aficionado, then you can switch these free alerts for more comprehensive alerts that you may get from your social listening vendor.
Productivity Hack #3 - List 3 important things you want to accomplish today
What, you don’t have one?! Well, you know where to start. This is probably one you’ve seen before and is actually something Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express advises too. Ultimately this is about prioritization, and here I would also advise that you amend this list depending on items that have come through on your morning emails/alerts check and your coordination meeting.
And remember, you always have less time than you think - in fact research suggests we’re only productive for around 3 hours a day - so make sure you get your priorities right, otherwise you may discover that your scrambling to finish your tasks.
Tip: Write your 3 goals down using a pen and paper (yes they still exist), it helps to keep them in your mind.
Productivity Hack #4 - Check your numbers
I don’t mean conduct a full-scale analysis of your traffic, conversions, engagement etc, but take a quick look to see what happened yesterday and while you were out overnight. People are commenting, linking and engaging at all hours of the day, so it always pays to see if anything unusual is happening or to just re-familiarize yourself with the performance of recent campaigns and content.
If you don’t have one already, creating a quick view dashboard for Google Analytics and online chatter is a good way to stay on top of all the latest developments. The example below is a simple results dashboard highlighting both social mentions and pageview data from Google Analytics.
Tip: The more you can put this information in one daily dashboard, the more time you’ll save. No surprises, that this is something you can do with Talkwalker for Google Analytics data and Facebook Insights : )
Productivity Hack #5 - Get rid of the clutter
This applies both to your physical and digital working space. I’ve definitely been guilty of having a cluttered workplace (both real and digital) but a little time each day to clear away the rubbish can make a big difference. What am I talking about specifically? In the physical world, it can be post-it notes that you’ve finished with, papers that you’ve finished reading or dealt with, stray business cards.
In your digital space, it means cleaning up your desktop, deleting old alerts and notifications and, of course, clearing out your inbox. Why do these things matter? I think it comes down to removing distractions. As marketers, we all have a 100 things to think about every day. Keeping track and prioritizing becomes just that little bit easier when you don’t have unnecessary items cluttering the view. (Full disclosure: this is very much a work in progress for me!)
Tip: If you have a tendency to be a bit messy, try to set smaller, achievable goals like “I’m going to remove two items from my desktop each morning” instead of doing everything at once.
Productivity Hack #6 - Read an interesting article from top to bottom
This is probably one of my favorite ones (and not just because I want you to finish reading this post!). If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of your day skim reading. Reading bits and pieces of social messages, reading headlines and intros of articles, using ctrl+F to look only for specific bits of text. We’re all in a hurry and I think most of us end up reading very few things from start to finish.
A lot of this is out of necessity but the fact is you miss a lot when you skim. If it’s a quality piece of content, it will be full of useful insights, links and asides that will have been included to appeal to your interests and needs. Here’s just one example of a longer piece of content you may want to read all the way through that focuses on crisis management (see what I did there?).
Tip: I’ve set up a Feedly stream to keep track of all my favorite publications and of course, there’s the Talkwalker blog : )
Productivity Hack #7 - When you go get a coffee, say hi to your colleagues
A final point. For the modern marketer, many of our daily interactions take place digitally. Whether it’s an email, a social media interaction, a message on Slack or a Facebook Live, we spend most of our days talking digitally instead of in person. This is in part, a natural consequence of the types of jobs we do. We’re busy, we need to be at our desks to complete most of our daily tasks and we want to save time. But, we also want to get coffee : ) So use that mini-break to not only fuel up on caffeine but also to keep up with what’s happening in other teams.
For me personally, I always find out new information (both work related and non-work related) through informal chats that not only help me to know more about our business and open up new opportunities to collaborate, but they also provide inspiration for new content.
Tip: Try not to speak to exactly the same people each day, and you know, be friendly : )
So those are the tips we’ve come up with based on both personal experiences and conversations we’ve had with clients and contacts. But I’m sure there are tons of other morning tasks that help you get things done, so feel free to share them in the comments and if we get a few on the same subject, we’ll even update our blog with the new task : )