Authored by Guest Blogger, Carrie Majewski
As a marketer, there are so many competing thoughts that run through your head regularly:
Will our marketing qualified leads (MQLs) successfully convert to sales qualified leads (SQLs?)
How fast is our data decaying?
Will our annual event generate business?
Are our content marketing efforts proving effective or futile?
How can I stay fresh with blog topics?
The list is endless…
It’s perhaps not all that surprising, then, that a recent study from Workfront found that 25% of marketers are “overly stressed” and 80% feel overloaded.
With an infinite amount of marketing channels at our disposal—podcasts, infographics, video, blogs, etc.—and a set of new pressures to become a robust demand generation engine for our organizations, our job has become hard. Really hard. This pressure often leaves us feeling overwhelmed, depleted and as if we are running on empty.
So, with a new season around the corner, here are three tips to stimulate your internal marketing genius…
1. Get Out of the Office
For the past three years, I have spent less and less time in the office and it’s not just because I work for wonderful companies that believe in the importance of flexible work (thanks Trilix!); it’s because I find my greatest creativity out of the office.
As a marketer, it’s important for me to come out behind the computer and go out into the world, paying close attention to how ambiance, conversations, people and experiences stimulate my creative direction. Try it yourself. The next time you have to crank out a white paper or conceptualize an event concept, head to your local coffee shop, library or park. For an added creative spark, go somewhere that does not support WiFi. Doing so will force you to tap into your imagination at a deeper level and really pay attention to your surroundings.
If you are able to get out of the office to do your work for even just 20 minutes a day, you can really give yourself that extra jolt of motivation you crave.
2. Read, Watch, Learn
One of my favorite time management concepts comes from best-selling author Steve McClatchy (“Decide”) who advocates for striking better balance between pain and gain tasks:
Pain tasks are the necessary parts of work and life that you do to avoid unpleasant consequences
Gain tasks are the tasks that allow you to inch closer to your most important personal and professional goals
In marketing, a pain task could be: post a blog a week, monitor social media chatter and import new contacts into your email platform. Conversely, a gain task could be performing competitive research, scheduling a white-board session with your colleagues or signing up for a webinar.
Throughout your week, make sure you schedule time for gain. For me, my gain tasks typically have to do with professional development. For instance, I may spend a few minutes each day catching up on the latest marketing news by visiting the Content Marketing Institute or HubSpot. Or, I may listen to a podcast or catch a webinar about a marketing topic of interest. When we make time to read, watch and learn, we stretch our minds and allow for creativity to enter our space.
3. Think Big Rocks
In Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” he explains that the key to creating work life balance and successfully prioritizing your time is to start by tackling your big rocks first (click here to see the concept in action).
If you are feeling burned out or demotivated, ask yourself one single question: are you expending your energy in the right place? If you are not, you are not successfully focusing on your big rocks.
In marketing, there is much that distracts us. We may try to employ every digital marketing vehicle at our disposal rather than focusing on the two that will help us most successfully achieve our goals. Or we may get caught up in analysis by paralysis, unable to move forward with a campaign idea because of our over-thinking. To avoid the distraction, center your thoughts, behaviors and actions around your big rocks. When you identify your big rocks, and develop a plan to prioritize them, you shift your energy—and your inspiration—to the place that needs it most.
What about you? What do you do to inject inspiration into your life?
Carrie Majewski is committed to affecting change. As Founder of the Women in Leadership Nexus, Carrie is fueled by a desire to create safe space for female luminaries to convene to redefine the notion of leadership. She has forged a career around strategic writing and storytelling, having led a digital marketing agency for almost three years and today working as Marketing Principal for Trilix Tech. Carrie is a 2017 Rhode Island “40 Under 40” honoree and a 2016 Rhode Island Tech10 Winner. In her spare time you’ll find her trying out a local hip-hop class, exploring parks with her rescue dog Tori, and sipping coffee with other powerhouse women.