Marketing is a process that takes time. When you don’t have the time, you can’t make it as the old adage implies. But you can schedule for it. You can put it down on your calendar to make sure it happens. You simply have to block out the time.
Before I started calendaring, I worked 14-16 hours per day. I wouldn’t say I was an organized person, but I got the work done. It just "got done" in a mad rush and in bits and pieces. Every time a call would come in, I’d take it. Every time someone would walk in my office, I’d stop what I was doing and tend to the conversation. Every time an IM chimed in, I’d start chatting away. The list of distractions are endless. But you can control them with one simple tool, a calendar.
Schedule Time for Your Marketing
Marketing always gets pushed to the way side, usually because of the number of decisions that have to be made to approve content and because it takes a lot of slow thinking to create something worth sharing. You know what I’m talking about, the blog posts that you can’t help but not write or the delayed decision on whether to approve or deny an email blast… you can schedule the time and chip away at these tasks throughout the week. Just make sure it’s on your calendar.
I write better first thing in the morning, so this is the first thing on my calendar. But you have to plan your work based on your rhythm. If your most creative in the afternoon or evening, that’s when you should schedule your creative marketing tasks. You also need time for analysis and review. Whether you have a marketing team or you’re a one-person show, block out time for for analyzing your marketing analytics and approving content. When working with a team, you need to make sure you’re providing clear feedback, which takes more time, so make sure this is accounted for. I recommend at least an hour to review and deny/approve marketing initiatives and review progress reports and analytics.
I approve most of our marketing content and design projects during my project management meeting and check analytics immediately after writing my morning blog post, which allows me to switch from a creative mindset to an analytical mindset, giving one side of my brain a break.
Build Your Personal Calendar for Marketing
Build out your weekly calendar. Pick one day of the week to do this. I choose Sundays because it helps me prepare for the week. But you can choose any day you want.
- Add in all of the recurring meetings like your daily kickoff meeting and/or sales meetings.
- Add in two to three time slots to check your email. Morning, after lunch and before you leave for the day.
- Next, plan and block out your work sections. Depending on what you’re going to do, you have to block out time to actually to work. If you’re working on sales, give yourself a large block of time to return sales calls or prepare proposals or do whatever you have to do.
As you can see, I try to plan work in blocked sections. I call this my ideal calendar. Although this is a perfect scenario of how I would like my day to go, it’s rarely ever exact to schedule, but it’s a guide for my real calendar.
My real calendar looks something like this:
Make sure you leave 20% open for interruptions and overflow from unfinished tasks.
Calendaring is a habit. You need to take into account that it will never be perfect. You will wake up late. You will be unable to finish projects in the allotted time. But that’s okay. Instead of trying to finish a blog post in an hour when it takes you an hour and a half, block out the actual time it takes you to complete a task. Give yourself plenty of time or you won’t stick with it. Now that you have your calendar in place, you can begin getting more from your marketing.