Time Crunch, Meet Time Management
The key to working effectively is time management. That is especially true for someone in a role like mine: I wear a ton of different hats at Jordan Digital Marketing. I’ve been a marketing generalist by trade for most of my career, and it’s always fun (and perhaps a little bit stressful) for me to have a slew of various responsibilities in an organization.
My official title at JDM is Director of Marketing. I handle the bulk of the promotion of the agency itself: I work on the website, manage our social accounts, and keep the blog running. I also do a fair bit of Account Work to keep my digital marketing chops up to date. I run reports for a lot of our clients, help with CRO, and Landing Page Design. I also handle the bulk of our hiring work when we’re looking for new staff. The point of this post isn’t to enumerate my duties, but it’s important to stress first that there are a lot of things I’m responsible for. That means I’ve got to be on top of tasks and projects. I’ve also got to be able to switch between them seamlessly and keep track of my progress. Here are the tools and tricks I use to make that easier.
Hour Stack is a godsend for remote work, but also for managing your own time efficiently. It allows you to place tasks on a weekly grid, and track the amount of time it takes for you to do each task. We don’t do this to micromanage our time, but because it helps to be able to go back and look to see how long a project took the last time we undertook it. For instance: we can add up the amount of time it took us to hire someone (easy to do because we marked it as its own project in Hour Stack) and know that it will take us x amount of hours with a reasonable accuracy.
Hour Stack also has a handy template feature that allows you to create a weekly template. This way I don’t waste time populating all of my recurring meetings and weekly tasks. Furthermore, it integrates with Asana, so when tasks are assigned to me I can put them quickly onto the grid when I want to work on them, so I can have a reasonable estimation of how much time I need to spend per week on priority tasks.
In an era of digital tools it may seem stupid to keep a notebook, but hear me out! Not only does writing stuff down help improve your memory and recall, but I find it extremely helpful to have something with my tasks and meetings written out all in one place, that isn’t attached to my computer. I used to use physical notebooks (I love these Baron Fig notebooks because they stay open flat!) but I was gifted an iPad and Apple Pencil over the holidays, so now I take all of my notes with the app GoodNotes.
GoodNotes is a killer tool because it allows you to use any PDF file as a document template. Instead of having to draw out my daily layout every morning, it’s ready to go for me. I loosely use a bullet journal type note keeping system, which has been written about extensively. Try it out if you think it will work for you.
Level 10 Meetings (and Doc)
The last handy tool for time management are our weekly planning meetings that occur every Monday at 10am. What makes the meetings especially helpful is that we use a doc to follow the Level 10 Meeting structure. Not only does it keep our company-wide meeting to around 30 minutes, it helps us each plan our weekly tasks and see how they overlap with one another. It gives us time to discuss issues we have with our planned tasks and what we need in order to keep them moving forward. Finally, it’s a good reminder for us to review and comment on our quarterly goals (even briefly) at the start of each week to make sure we keep our larger goals in mind. If you’re struggling to have an efficient and productive weekly meeting with your team, I highly recommend using this meeting structure!