They’re all worth approximately $37 billion – which is also roughly how much unnecessary meetings cost the United States economy every single year in wasted productivity.
Although some meetings are crucially important, many are not. Despite this, we still spend between 35-50% of our time in meetings (and even more if you’re in senior management), sitting around nodding awkwardly at something that could have been better summarized in a short email.
While you may not be able to completely eradicate meetings and other time-sucks from your professional life, there are plenty of things you can do to save precious time, increase productivity, and generally get more done.
However, what might be the most revelatory time-management tip to one person may be completely useless to another. That’s why we’ve segmented this list of time management tips into sections by category. So, whether you’re a PPC marketer or a #social media specialist, you’ll find plenty of ways to save time and be more productive.
Every week, be sure to carve out a specific time slot that is completely meeting-free. It could be first thing on a Monday morning, or late on a Friday afternoon.
Whichever day and time you choose, make sure that everyone on your team knows that you’re unavailable for meetings during that time period. This will help you get more accomplished without dreaded meetings looming over you. Speaking of meetings…
When you do have to schedule a meeting, it’s tempting to simply book a conference room for 30 minutes or an hour and invite everyone on the team. While this is sometimes necessary, most meetings can actually be wrapped up much faster – especially if everyone involved is either standing or walking.
Standing and walking meetings encourage brevity, and can help everyone stay focused on the top-priority topics that require urgent attention before getting back to work. Plus, walking can be great for improving concentration and getting some steps in throughout the day!
As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest time-wasters in the modern workplace is useless or unnecessary meetings. However, when a meeting absolutely has to happen, make sure everyone’s on the same page by sending an email to all attendees requesting a summary of what is hoped to be accomplished by the end of the meeting and a clearly defined objective. This not only helps reduce time wasting by catching everyone up, but also ensures that once the clearly defined objective has been accomplished, everyone can get back to work.
The best managers and executives are those who are open and available to their staff. WordStream’s CEO, Ralph Folz, takes great pride in being on a first-name basis with every WordStream employee (not to mention actually remembering all those names in the first place). However, one potential downside to this attitude is the temptation to intervene in any and all problems whenever someone comes to you for help or input. If this sounds familiar, consider trying out an open/closed office door policy.
Let your staff and direct reports know that if your office door is open, it’s totally fine for them to come in and ask questions or seek input. If the door is closed, this means you need to be left alone to get stuff done. This also eliminates the need for emails or instant messages inquiring about your immediate availability.
“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” is an adage that will be familiar to most managers. Whether through a tendency to micromanage or a lack of competent staff, many managers have likely experienced strenuous workloads or genuine burnout by taking on too much work.
If things start to pile up, recognize when to delegate tasks to others. Not only is this important for both your staff’s professional development and sense of engagement at work, it also frees up precious time that you could spend doing other things. It’s tempting to do things yourself to make sure they’re done to the proper standard, but learn to recognize when this approach becomes problematic.
It’s often said that PPC is a marathon, not a sprint, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of work to do when optimizing multiple PPC campaigns. If you’re not already, consider learning automation techniques to take some of the more tedious work off your plate and save time.
AdWords scripts and other tools can automate many of the routine tasks you perform in your own or client accounts on a daily basis. You don’t need to be a Computer Science graduate to get started with scripting in AdWords, and it can make an immense difference.
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