5 Ways to Cope with the New-Normal Workload
JUNE 30, 2011:
Judy Matysik, Vice President of Client Services, Content & Design
Client Service Integrated Marketing Work-Life Balance
Corporations are doing a great job of doing more with less and increasing productivity. It makes owners, shareholders and creditors very happy. But, what about the staff?
As a marketing professional, you probably face increased productivity demands. You’re required to multitask – plan a marketing strategy, respond to urgent requests for materials, master interactive platforms like social media, implement a new campaign – all the while coping with fewer resources and a limited budget.
It would be nice if this pressure-cooker environment were a temporary blip, but that probably isn’t the case. Increased workloads have become the new normal. That means learning to cope with – and even better, capitalize on – the faster pace of work. Here are five tips:
1. Take a time out. Hospitals have had great success implementing “time out” procedures to help prevent surgical errors. Before surgery starts, the surgeon, nurses, technicians and anesthesia provider pause to verify that it’s the right patient, the right procedure and the right site before proceeding. Apply the same rationale to your projects. Take a deep breath, gather everyone involved and make sure everyone knows what is expected of them and when. It’s worth a half-hour meeting to clarify responsibilities and expectations.
2. Limit distractions. If you’re anything like me, a pinging email begs for immediate attention. But you may be better off setting off specific times during the day to check emails or, if you must peek, flagging them to handle later if they aren’t urgent.
3. Prioritize. Your to-do list may be overwhelming, but you can probably assign a priority to everything on it. If you end up with multiple projects that are all high-priority, you may need to outsource. (Shameless plug here: Priority can help with everything from content development to email marketing to web design and development and social media marketing.) Talk to your manager – if the project is important enough, there should be a budget for outsourcing. Otherwise, let him or her determine what takes priority.
4. Ask for help. Again, if you’re like me, you’re a bit of a control freak. But look around you. You have highly skilled coworkers, and maybe one of them can pitch in. It’s likely they’re just as busy, but perhaps one of them has a more flexible deadline. You won’t know unless you ask. Just be sure you are willing to return the favor one day.
5. Take care of yourself. It may seem impossible to squeeze some exercise and a healthy meal into your day or get enough sleep at night, but you are of no use to your customers, members or coworkers if you work yourself sick. A quick walk, nutritious lunch, a chat with a coworker – anything that gets you away from your desk for a few minutes can help keep the stress from becoming overwhelming. You might even free your subconscious to think of a great new idea or time-saving strategy.
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.