With great marketing powers come even greater marketing responsibilities. As a marketer in the digital age, it can often feel overwhelming to try and determine where to allocate your time, energy, and budget. Yet, by simplifying challenges, you can reduce stress and enjoy what you do – which makes it easier to be creative and accomplish your goals.
Are You Overwhelmed?
“Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations – whether they’re real or perceived,” WebMD explains. “When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as ‘fight-or-flight,’ or the stress response. During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises.”
Stress is a very natural response to your surroundings. What’s not natural is chronic stress. Not only does it have an impact on your physical health – resulting in high blood pressure, tense muscles, headaches, and digestive issues – but it also causes mental and emotional issues.
One of the chief markers of chronic stress is a feeling of being overwhelmed. When you’re overwhelmed, it seems as if the walls are closing in around you and nothing can help or save you. You start to question your abilities and creativity all but disappears.
6 Ways to Take Charge
As a marketer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. It can feel as if there’s always someone or something pulling on you or commanding your attention. From social media and content marketing to SEO and web design, the life of a marketer feels significantly strained. But you don’t have to be overwhelmed around the clock.
With the right plan, you can simplify and streamline your responsibilities for a less stressful and more engaging day-to-day experience. Here are some ways to make this happen:
1. Do, Delegate, or Drop
You can’t do everything on your own – nor should you try. To avoid being overwhelmed by everything on their plates, many marketers adopt a do/delegate/drop technique.
“By applying the do/delegate/drop technique, your team can stay focused on priorities,” Project Central explains. “If a task needs to be done, it can be prioritized accordingly. If it can be delegated to someone who has time and the skills to do it, it’ll enable a team member to focus on something else. And if a task needs to be dropped, it frees up room in the team’s schedule for other priorities.”
2. Use Automated Tools
As a marketer, you’re blessed to be in a field that’s full of automation. And in many cases, these automated tools and solutions are low-cost or free of charge.
Successful entrepreneur and digital marketer Neil Patel is a big believer in marketing automation. He uses a number of tools to limit the amount of time and energy he expends on certain tasks. These include tools for automating email, social media, analytics, content marketing, ad campaigns, lead nurturing, and more.
3. Use the 10-Minute Rule
It’s often the quantity of tasks on your plate that makes you feel overwhelmed. Even if they’re tiny tasks, the fact that you have a bunch of them stacked up can make it hard to focus. But you can combat this by implementing the 10-minute rule.
The 10-minute rule works like this: If you run across a task that takes you 10 minutes or less, you tackle it right away. If, however, it’ll take you longer than 10 minutes, you put it on your to-do list and accomplish it as you have time.
After implementing the 10-minute rule, you’ll notice that your schedule is less crowded and more focused on the important tasks and challenges that move the needle.
4. Schedule Out Breaks
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is continue working. Your mind and body are begging you to take regular breaks.
It’s best if you schedule breaks in advance. Everyone functions differently, but you’ll find that you’ll need a 10- or 15-minute break every 60 to 90 minutes. Mark them on your daily schedule and set a timer. When the timer goes off, immediately stop what you’re doing and walk away.
5. Stop Procrastinating
There’s nothing worse than procrastination. People typically procrastinate when they feel overwhelmed, but this only leads to additional stress and anxiety. To stop these feelings, be more efficient with your time.
“When you face a big project at work or home, start by dividing it into smaller tasks,” Mental Health America suggests. “Complete the first one before moving on to the next. Give yourself small rewards upon each completion, whether it’s a five-minute break or a walk to the coffee shop. If you feel overwhelmed by routines that seem unnecessary, tell your boss. The less time you spend doing busy work or procrastinating, the more time you can spend productively, or with friends or family.”
6. Establish Work-Life Balance
One of the problems digital marketers have is that they often work from home. And while this can be great, it also creates challenges with work-life balance. When you work and play in the same space, it’s hard to create the separation you need to thrive in each distinct area of your life.
For the sake of your mental health and stress levels, be conscientious about establishing clear work-life balance and boundaries between your job and personal life. Take at least one full day off per week and unplug for a few hours in the evening before going to bed. It’s also helpful if you establish a hobby outside of work that allows you to disconnect from digital life.
Make Marketing Fun Again
If you let it, marketing will get the best of you. There’s always something to be done and the stress of deadlines, market pressures, and customer demands can send you into a tizzy. But there are also plenty of tools, solutions, and systems for streamlining the mundane and smoothing over the friction.
As you implement these answers, you’ll feel less helpless and more hopeful.