- Set the alarm: OK, I get it, some people aren’t morning people. But early risers prime themselves for success by getting stuff done before the phone starts ringing, their email inbox starts filling up and everyday office distractions eat into the day. Sure, you can burn the midnight oil and get things done after hours, but how will that impact your work/life balance?
- Write a list: Start the day with a list and diligently work through it. Set goals and reward yourself for ticking off items (there is nothing more motivating than ticking off a number of items on your list before your mid-morning coffee). If you don’t have a list, you’ll find it much easier to procrastinate and not get things done.
- Speak to people: Email is great, but email tennis (where messages bounce back and forth, eventually going out of play) is tiresome. If you want to get things done quickly and efficiently, try picking up the phone and speaking to people.
- Change your environment: A change of scene can have a big impact on your creative output. I’ve spent many productive afternoons holed up in coffee shops and hotel lounges where I’ve been able to get into “the zone” (with the help of a constant flow of caffeine) while avoiding the usual office distractions.
- Avoid meetings: If a meeting doesn’t have an agenda, there is probably no point in attending. Meetings should also have rigid time frames and not be allowed to overrun. Meetings for the sake of meetings are wasteful and unproductive. It takes guts to decline a meeting request, but it also takes guts to be a great marketer.
- Learn to say no: Don’t do things for the sake of doing them. Many marketers feel pressured into doing things that offer no benefit to the business merely to please sales managers or other colleagues. Learning to say no will free up your time to focus on becoming a better marketer.
- Exercise: Sitting and staring at a blank screen is probably one of the most unproductive things you can do, so when the opportunity arises, get up from your desk and move around a little. Many of my best ideas come to me while I’m taking a bike ride along the beach or walking to my local coffee shop.
- Read more: A well-read marketer is a productive marketer. Great ideas can come from news articles, blog posts, competitors’ marketing collateral (eBooks, whitepapers, etc.), business biographies and guides. Pack a Kindle in your bag and use any unproductive time (sitting in airport lounges, taxi rides, nights in hotels) broadening your marketing muscle (your mind).
- Concentrate on now: Stop looking for the next big thing in marketing. When it arrives, you’ll know all about it. In the meantime, focus on marketing strategies that have been tried and tested – like email marketing.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.