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10 productivity killers for Heads of Marketing and how to fix them

Being used to working in a busy, productive environment and now faced with developing marketing strategies with a virtual workforce creates a new reality and communication process.

Here is our own compilation of what we think are the 10 killers of productivity for Heads of Marketing during Covid-19.

1. Online meeting inflation

Pre-Covid-19, findings from research indicated that 36% of a Head of Marketing’s time was spent in meetings and only 39% of meetings achieved their objectives. Now is not the time to use working from home as an opportunity to fall into the trap of online meeting inflation.

It’s important to recognise that face-to-face meetings are essential for developing new ideas and keeping your team motivated and focussed. Best practice for meetings is for them to have clear purpose, a sound agenda and only have the right people in the meeting. Restricting them to around 30 minutes is also good.

2. Wearing too many hats

You probably lead, develop strategic plans, get involved in execution and manage people. You’re a natural facilitator and during Covid-19, you may be inundated with contact from your peers seeking reassurance. Your initial instinct might be to roll up your sleeves and step into the problem but now more than at any other time, it’s about navigating and supporting your team, not ‘doing’.

3. Wanting to appear busy

If you’re working from home with children, it can be difficult to find the balance and still feel productive. Don’t fall into the trap of firing emails off to colleagues at all hours of the day. Structure your time and speak to your employer about flexibility and working different hours. This is as much about increasing your productivity as taking care of your own mental wellbeing.

4. Getting distracted by social media

Given the nature of what you do, social media will inevitably have a place. If not using it personally, you may be planning activity. It’s important to not let it become a distraction during Covid-19. You will know that most people tend to curate themselves and put their best self on social media and it’s helpful to remember that as you see all the ‘to-do’ lists and goals. Selectively track certain things on social media and ignore others. Set some limits on how much you’re also tracking the news at this time.

5. Neglecting communication

When all your team members are moving in different directions, your productivity will suffer greatly. Ensuring everyone is on the same page and working cohesively is vital during Covid-19. Ensure you have the right tools in place to aid collaboration and remember everyone is different and some colleagues may be struggling with change more than others.

6. Suffering email overload

You may find that, during Covid-19, managing your inbox becomes a relentless task. Set aside time each day to just respond to email. In writing your emails, be brief and direct. Unsubscribe to any spam mail that clogs your inbox and if a request is a small one, pick up the phone.

7. Using multiple task management tools

There are loads of task management systems out there so, ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you and sticking to it. You may be tempted at this time, away from the office, to constantly try out new systems but it could be a waste of your time. Spend a few weeks experimenting, and then commit. 

8. Continuing multi-tasking

We’re not built for multi-tasking but by the nature of what you do, you will have your head in multiple jobs. It may feel that, by multi-tasking, you are getting more done but everything will ultimately take you longer. Use this time to aggressively focus on one task at a time and see what results you get.

9. Starting to self-sabotage

Taking care of yourself will not only help you stay healthy, but it will also make it easier to maintain a positive attitude and stick to a regular routine. It’s tempting to establish a new routine that could involve a reduction in sleep and reaching for the snacks. It’s important to act as if you were still heading out for a typical day and avoid those unhealthy distractions.

10. Not giving yourself a break

Just as your office can never be your home, similarly your home can never be your office. It shouldn't. When you work from home, it becomes an entirely different workspace, where your child or your pet could occasionally gate crash your video conference. Today isn’t the time to set unrealistic expectations: embrace working from home but make sure you do it mindfully.

Want to access more of our Covid-19 resources? Click here.

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