Happy belated Independence Day, WordStream fans! With the 4th falling on a Wednesday, it feels like we had a Saturday right in the middle of the week – but no following Sunday to help us recover. Oof!
When I reluctantly dragged myself back to work yesterday, I saw a note from my coworker Adam, who said he was “declaring independence from old emails,” archiving all messages older than two weeks. That note – and Wednesday’s patriotic festivities – inspired me to think of more ways to assert your independence in the office.
1. Declare Email Bankruptcy
Declaring “bankruptcy” for your email means admitting that you’re never going to be able to answer all those old messages. Archive them, delete them, unflag, mark all as read – do whatever you have to do, but don’t allow them to hang over your head. If you use an RSS reader like Google Reader, you can declare bankruptcy there too – clear your account and start fresh.
2. Do a Task-List Cull
The last time our marketing team did a big offsite meeting, we completed an exercise where each of us wrote down all of the tasks and regular duties that we’re responsible for on a stack of Post-It notes. Then we looked for tasks we could eliminate (very satisfying to pull one of the notes off the wall), either because the results weren’t worth the time or because that time could be better spent on other, higher-priority tasks. From time to time – instead of just continually adding more duties to your list – remember to reevaluate and streamline your workflow. Make sure you’re not pouring time and effort into tasks with low return.
3. Shut Down Your Email/IM for an Hour
The office is a culture of interruption. Even if you work from home, like I do, and faces don’t pop up in your cube, you’re probably interrupted on a near-constant basis by dings and alerts for new emails and coworkers asking you questions over IM. Twitter and Facebook are another distraction. It’s been shown pretty conclusively that multi-tasking doesn’t really work – if you really want to do something well, you need to focus on that task and nothing else for a while. So if you’ve got a big project to work on or an article to write, shut down your email, IM, Twitter client, etc. for a few hours – even a full day! – and FOCUS. Put up an away message or send out a note to your team saying you’ll be unavailable for a bit; if necessary, let them know what you’ll be working on, and follow up when you’re done so your superiors don’t think you’re just out for a walk in the park.
4. Take a Walk in the Park
Sometimes you really do need to get away from your desk. If you’re feeling frazzled or stumped or blocked or exhausted, take a 20-minute break to get some fresh air and perspective. You probably need the Vitamin D.
This Week’s Web Marketing Highlights
Over at Search Engine Journal, Alan Bleiweiss shares a detailed case study on how one site recovered from Panda.
Melissa Mackey reveals 3 ways that averages lie in PPC – for example, by masking problems.
Kerry Jones at Blueglass discusses two elements of relationship building you can’t ignore – these are great tips for getting more ripple effect from your links and PR.
Need help with email marketing? Unbounce collects 33 recent resources to help you build your list, increase clicks and conversions and more.
Google’s recent Penguin update has a lot of people confused about links – see the shady companies offering “link removal services.” Tom Demers takes a more sensible approach and explains how to respond by getting more relevant links and diversifying your anchor text.
Have a great weekend!
Image via *Micky