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While conventional wisdom says we all have 24 hours in a day, time wasters greatly reduce our productive hours. In this post, we’ll point out the five biggest productivity killers that plague modern marketing team and offer solutions that help you stay on track and on task.
So, what are the 5 biggest time wasters that kill marketers’ productivity?
- Digital distractions
- Poor communication
- Indecision and scope-of-work changes
- Insufficient training
Marketing teams can’t function without screen time. This necessity can also, unfortunately, turn into a lot of digital noise. Common unproductive tasks may cause workers to spend less than half of their work time on the project at hand. Research suggests a typical worker is productive for only around three hours, with those hours spread across an entire day.
The main culprit? Checking email. On average, professionals check email 15 times per day and this over-checking wastes valuable time. Reclaim productivity by checking hourly or only twice a day. Team members should feel able to be inaccessible in order to concentrate. Multitasking is another culprit and leading marketing team inefficiency. This usually happens when projects aren’t prioritized. Document a productivity strategy and stick to one task at a time.
Oftentimes, projects get underway without full stakeholder buy-in or clear instructions to the team on when and how members should communicate with others and track progress. Before you know it, email threads are splintered, problems go unsolved, and issues snowball. Eliminate these avoidable productivity killers by incorporating automated and streamlined processes. Invest in proper tools that are up-to-date and, importantly, used as agreed upon by team members and clients.
This time waster reflects on the team leader. Ask yourself, how much time is spent on status update meetings? Are they productive? Are they relevant to attendee’s project work? Task management software can show the status of every part of a project, without pulling people off time-sensitive and complex tasks. Software can automate status update requests, so members know upfront what information is needed from them and where to share it. Automation also allows for report creation and distribution, so members can easily see if and how the project is on track.
Indecision and scope-of-work changes
To avoid productivity time wasters, team leaders must begin with stakeholder and team buy-in to the big picture, as well as the internal phases. Otherwise, scope-of-work changes can wreck progress, kill the budget, and possibly mean in project failure. Successful team leaders create clarity so members know which targets to hit, when, and why. They also build in a process where benchmarks and innovation are recognized.
Time wasted due to a lack of clear direction will devastate a team’s ability to perform. Create a training culture that gives team members tools to recognize distractions. A lack of training can also negatively impact job satisfaction. Recognize that team members are not machines. Unhealthy nutrition and hydration habits may not seem like obvious time wasters, but they are. A drop in energy during the day, just like digital distractions, can make it difficult to get things done.
Set your marketing team up for success with efficient and resource-rich task management tools, and you’ll see a huge difference in how your days feel.