In a 2015 study, 60% of working professionals report that their productivity suffers because they’re trying to tackle too many things at once.1
That’s a lot of over-busy people who are still disappointed by what they haven’t accomplished!
Are you one of them?
Is your to-do list never ending? Your desk overflowing? Are you weighed down by a heap of unfinished (or unstarted projects)?
From emails to appointments, an endless parade of time-sucking tasks have cluttered our lives and clouded our vision.
When you’re distracted by urgent needs and pending deadlines, you might never get to the high-payoff project that’s been waiting months — or even years — for you to address.
But right now it’s the perfect time to clean out and get focused!
Whether you draw your inspiration from the warm weather’s call to spring cleaning, the tradition of sweeping the chametz from your cabinets for Passover, or the idea of renewal every Easter, there’s something in the human spirit that craves a regular reset.
Here’s a three-step spring detox for your marketing to-do list:
First, take an honest look at your list and eliminate anything that really isn’t a priority, doesn’t have a worthwhile payoff, or has been on your list so long that it’s no longer relevant.
Just this week Beth led a social media training session for a group of nonprofits in New Jersey. When she told them they didn’t have to “Be Everywhere” the group let out a collective sigh of relief. And with the assurance that they didn’t have to do everything, they asked, “how do we know if what we are doing is worth the effort?”
Good question. So here are a few more you can ask to find out if it’s time to let it go:
• Are you reaching and holding the interest of your primary audience?
• Can you demonstrate that what you are doing is moving directly or indirectly toward a desirable action?
• Do you know which of your strategic goals that activity supports?
If you are not sure, it may be time to put that project on hold until you do.
Feeling lighter already? Great!
Now for the dreaded eight-letter word:
Accept that you can’t do it all. If projects are stuck but can’t be eliminated, then you need to get help. A list of work backing up adds stress that can impact your ability to make progress on anything.
First decide what on your list can be handled by someone else. Accept that they won’t do it exactly the way you would and identify projects where done is more important than perfect. Indecision frequently causes more damage than a wrong decision.
In some cases, you might be able to delegate down (or across) to a subordinate, coworker, volunteer or intern. In others, (and this one’s trickier), the project might be languishing because it really needs to be delegated up the reporting chain.
If you’re finding it difficult to delegate down or delegate up, you might discover that you’re dealing with a project that you should delegate out.
Which leads us to our next step…
Do you lack someone on your team with the right skillset to complete the project? Are you short on the time or the expertise needed to manage the process?
It would be a ridiculous waste of resources to maintain a staff that encompasses every imaginable skillset your organization could ever need. But sometimes projects get delayed when the right person isn’t available to take it on.
It’s inevitable that at some point you’ll encounter projects that you’d be better off delegating out.
Going outside for help increases your capacity without increasing your overhead. Not to mention that a specialist will get the job done faster and better than anyone juggling multiple priorities.
Outside help can come in many forms. It might be developing an ambassador program to help spread the word. It could be collaboration with another organization that has resources you can share. Or it could mean hiring experts to handle the task.
What opportunities are passing by while your message isn’t supporting your new strategy, your website isn’t working the way you want or that campaign you imagine is still in your head?
If there is a project that is stuck, let’s talk. We can help you leap forward this spring.
1 Wrike 2015 Work Management Survey Report. Retrieved from https://www.wrike.com/blog/2015-work-management-survey-report/