By: Heather Hurst, Director of Corporate Marketing at Workfront
Marketers are people pleasers. Every drive-by request from sales or client services we willingly take on, even if it means that we have to work all weekend to get it done. Need a fancy brochure for tomorrow’s tradeshow? Sure, no problem. Want T-shirt designs for the company outing next week? I’m on it.
As we try to gracefully juggle all of the ad hoc grenades thrown at us—while simultaneously juggling standard work loads—somewhere along the way our priorities get mixed up and the work starts to pile up. In other words, in our effort to do the right thing we end up getting the wrong results.
Let’s face it; being able to effectively prioritize requests from multiple departments and develop brilliant, original material quarter after quarter is difficult. Nonetheless, it’s critical to our success as marketers—not to mention our sanity. Below are three tips and tricks to help you better prioritize work:
- Have a central planning function: Although we don’t mean to, marketers often work in silos. As such, important documents become trapped in various systems, such as Google Docs, Skype chats or Excel spreadsheets, prohibiting other team members from seeing the status of a particular project. Invest in a project management platform that keeps vital documents, requests and conversations in one central location. This way, team members have insight into any project’s status and can help better prioritize work.
- Gain visibility across departments: It happens all of the time. A department asks marketing to take care of a project, so being the people pleasers they are marketing drops whatever task it’s doing to complete the task at hand only to later find out that the request was something of low-priority. Different departments have different priorities; however it’s difficult to know what those are without heighted visibility into other departments. With a project management platform, all team members have visibility into the status of other people’s work and priorities.
- Muster up the strength to say “no” to fake work: As marketers, we’re often asked to take on work without knowing its real significance. Is it a high-value activity that will yield external impact or is it a low-vale task that can be placed on the back burner? Without knowing a project’s value, we end up taking on “fake work,” or activities that have no real impact on the business. The number one thing for us to work on is things that are strategic and make a difference. So stand up and say “no” to fake work.
Prioritizing work can be a challenge when everything feels equally important. With these three tips you can better organize work, cut down on all the distractions and meetings and spend more time doing what you do best. More importantly, you can reclaim your weekends.