Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more than 24 hours in a day?
You may feel overwhelmed or exhausted, or you may have told yourself that if you just put in the work, you can get it all done.
Ask yourself honestly: is all that effort getting you the results you want? It’s hard not to feel the demands of our 24/7 hustle culture, but you’re about to learn a few surprising tweaks that could free up your energy to create more joyfully than you ever envisioned:
- How to gain clarity
- Why you need an MVP
- The key to real productivity
- How to find fruitful focus
- Dealing with daily distractions
- The simplest productivity secret
- Why processes power results
- How to streamline your content
- When you need to stop
You in? Sweet, let’s go.
1. How to gain clarity
Do you know where all your time is going? Spend a week writing down everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you do and how long it takes. Include activities like getting ready in the morning, writing blog posts, checking your phone, making dinner, and all the little tasks in between. Track. It. All. You might be surprised by your findings.
And by the way, if you’re already wondering how you'll find time for that, jotting down a quick note should only take you a moment. Could you spare 30 seconds a few times a day to give yourself less overwhelm? I hope your answer is yes because you deserve it.
2. Why you need an MVP (most valuable project)
Reflect on the last week. Did you notice any patterns? Is there anything you’re spending time on that you don’t want to be doing, that you could do less of, that could wait for later, or that doesn’t even need to be done?
As you look at your complete list of tasks, let me offer this tip: don’t try to do it all.
Before you think I’m crushing your ambitious dreams, please know that this is coming (with love) from someone who once earned the nickname Energizer Bunny at work. I’ve identified as an overachiever for most of my life, so I get that drive. In my experience, however, I’ve found contentment in remembering that I may be able to accomplish a whole lot throughout my life, just not at the same time.
Pick one most valuable project and start there.
3. The key to real productivity
So how can you decide what to prioritize? Let’s define some business buzzwords: productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency.
In his book Reinvent Your Enterprise, Jack Bergstrand, founder of Brand Velocity, Inc., provides the following definitions:
Efficiency focuses on doing things right.
Effectiveness concentrates on doing the right things.
Productivity is about doing them both at the same time. (Bergstrand n.d: 7).
To be truly productive, then, we first need to understand what tasks are effective. For example, which of your calls to action gets the most conversions on your website? Which emails get the most click-throughs? Which campaigns deserve more of your focus?
Here’s where data takes center stage. As a HubSpot fangirl on the Helpful Hero team, I love using HubSpot reports to collect this type of data. Their pre-built library and traffic analytics provide instant insight in only a few clicks. So much time saved, and so many fewer headaches.
Plus, you can even have these reports emailed to team members on a regular schedule (and automatically) for transparent decision-making.
4. How to find fruitful focus
Now that you know which tasks have the most impact, it’s time to make them efficient. Here’s my suggestion: put your most important job to be done first. Put a block of time on your calendar first thing in the morning when you can sit down and crank it out.
Make sure you’re free from distractions and interruptions so you can get into your focused flow. If you use a tool like HubSpot, set up a free meeting page that integrates with your calendar to prevent people from booking time with you during your most important work.
5. Dealing with daily distractions
Answering emails or texts on an ongoing basis throughout the day can be a real focus-killer, so include blocks in your calendar for this type of communication, too. Tools like HubSpot’s email snippets, templates, and saved sections can help you save even more time. You can also schedule emails to send to a group of contacts at a particular time or automate workflows to send emails regularly to qualifying contacts.
We’re big fans of the Superhuman inbox tool too, which makes us feel, well, superhuman.
6. The simplest productivity secret
Nothing lightens your cognitive load like a clear workspace. Organize your desk at the end of every day to start each morning with a clean slate. I’d also recommend planning your morning tasks the night before so you can use all your creative energy on your most valuable project when you’re fresh.
Your desktop and files could use a little love too. HubSpot’s CMS is a great place to keep your website’s creative assets organized. Use a consistent naming convention so you can find what you need quickly and easily and avoid wasting precious time looking for that cute dog gif from a year ago (oh, here it is!).
7. Why processes power results
Your desk isn’t the only thing that should be organized. Structure your project deliverables, sales scripts, etc., and avoid reinventing the wheel every time. HubSpot workflows can come in handy here too. Use them to create tasks or reminders at any point in your process, so you don’t have to rely on your memory.
8. How to streamline your content
Oh, content creation: possibly the most time-consuming part of a marketer’s job! Here are some tricks to keep you feeling calm and creative:
Keep a running list of ideas
You know, the random shower thoughts or moments of inspiration you have while cooking dinner or eavesdropping on a conversation? Write down anything and everything that piques your interest throughout your day.
Batch your content
Social media content can feel like a drain, especially when the world expects you to show up every. Single. Day. Use that running list of ideas you have, sit down for an hour or two, and create all your posts for the month. Then schedule them using HubSpot’s handy social media tool. BOOM. Done! :)
Schedule your webpage updates or publish dates
Got any new pages that need to go live on a particular date? Take the publishing off your plate ahead of time by scheduling it to happen automatically.
Use global content
Another huge advantage for HubSpot websites is global content. You can make an edit on one page and watch it instantly applied to the rest of your site like magic. Now that’s efficient. :)
Use knowledge base insights
In HubSpot’s Service Hub, check out the search terms with no results section under the Insights tab in your Knowledge Base. Want to answer your customer’s questions? Now you know what they’re asking. A big time-saver for sourcing content ideas!
9. When you need to stop
Unless you're a robot, you probably won't be at your best if you try to go for 8 hours straight at full speed. Take a walk, listen to a podcast, or play with your cat for a few minutes. If you tend to be a workaholic, schedule time blocks for this in your day! You may not feel like you’re doing much, but you’re replenishing your creative juices. As Abraham Lincoln was quoted saying:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Remember: you can do this.
It’s tough to be the one-person marketing team in a fast-paced environment. The good news is that a little bit of intention goes a long way, and you’re 100% capable of regaining control over your time.
Cheers to finding more peace and productivity.