Being a marketer is stressful, there are the never-ending list of priorities to be completed. Something has to give. As marketers, one of the most powerful things we can do to perform better is giving back some time to ourselves.
I read an interested post by Ron Ashkenas at Harvard Business Review Blog about Should you stay late or go home?, this post give some tips about balancing personal and working life. There is also a research indicating people who regularly put in overtime and work 10 or 11-hour days increase their heart disease risk by nearly two-thirds, you can read Working overtime increases heart risk.
Knowing these facts here are some tips:
- Double what it works: As a marketer, you have metrics that indicate the success of your efforts. We live in a world of results-focused marketing, the most powerful thing that you can do is work on the strategies and tactics that are producing positive results and eliminate or improve on the ones that are not.
- Time box projects: Managing time is a difficult task. Time boxing is setting a time limit on each marketing activity you do. Time boxing will force you to be more efficient in how you use your time and help you to be more results oriented.
- Reduce administrative time: Attending meetings and conducting reporting are some of the biggest time eaters. Reduce the time of recurring meetings, and of course before that prepare a detailed agenda with a timed box for each point to be discussed.
- Say NO: This trick is the most valuable. Saying no to extra “stuff” that people ask you to do that has no value to your performance save you a lot of time, so you will have time back into your day to drive results.
- Pareto principle: It is impossible to get everything done. Odds are that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.
My advise is do not stay late just because you want to be perceived as a hard worker, this can have the other effect that you are not effective / productive so you need more time that the usual business hours to get things done.
If you do not take control of your own working hours, the work can easily take control of you.