As a school marketer, you spend a great deal of time just trying to stay on top of everything – from reading and responding to emails, developing content, managing social media, and more. You might be wishing you had more hours in a day, but that’s unrealistic. So how do you boost your productivity without having to find more time in your too-busy schedule?
School marketers often face pressing challenges: too little resources, demanding deadlines, content development challenges, and multiple channels and networks to manage. The need to be more productive is at an all-time high, but so is the need to unplug and decompress once in a while. With all these demands, it’s easy to see why school marketers are looking for the best productivity hacks.
Here are 8 productivity hacks you can use to be prepared for the whirlwind pace of the upcoming school year.
Productivity Hack #1. Set Deadlines
Deadlines are helpful for your team because they provide structure and help them stay focused on the task. You can also set up smaller deadlines – called milestones – that work up to the final deadline.
In addition to the deadlines, you set up, encourage your team members to set personal deadlines. Tighter deadlines sometimes work better for people who tend to procrastinate.
Sometimes it can be challenging to meet deadlines. This is an opportunity to look carefully at a variety of factors, such as:
- How long it takes to complete tasks
- How well priorities are managed
- How realistic timelines are
- Is there enough time built in for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances?
If you want to increase productivity within your team, deadlines are important. This will help your team stay focused on meeting your goals and deadlines in a timely manner.
Productivity Hack #2. Use a Calendar
A marketing-dedicated calendar is an important tool for marketing teams. The calendar will help you keep track of all the moving parts of your campaigns. For example, you will want to keep track of how long your PPC ads will be running, when your emails will be sent and when social media posts will be published. This will help you plan all aspects of your campaigns as well as giving everyone needed information so they can plan their schedule.
Calendars help you – and your team – be more productive. Calendars give everyone the opportunity to organize and prioritize important tasks. Using a calendar will help your team execute a better campaign.
Productivity Hack #3. Monitor Your Analytics
It might seem counter-productive, but actively monitoring your analytics will actually save you time – and money – in the long run. Understanding your metrics, and how they compare to your benchmarks, allows you to see how well your investment of time, effort, and budget is performing.
Analytics allow you to see where your campaign is successful, and where changes need to be made. When you invest time and money into a campaign, you want to make sure it is getting the best results possible. By actively monitoring your analytics, you will help your school receive increased productivity.
Productivity Hack #4. Facilitate Team Communication
Communication is a key element of a marketing team’s success. Communication helps team members coordinate and remain consistent across all platforms.
Start by choosing the right software tools for your team. You will need a tool for:
- Project management (Asana, Basecamp, ClickUp, Flow, Teamwork, Trello, Wrike)
- Team communication (Slack, Troop Messenger)
- Workflow management (Process Street)
- File management (Google Workspace, Icedrive)
- Password management (1Password, LastPass Teams)
- Video conferencing (Zoom, Remo Conference)
- Screen recording (Loom, StoryXpress Recorder)
- Integrations (Zapier)
It is also important there are regularly scheduled meetings where the team can discuss progress toward goals and deadlines. Clear communication plays a significant role in the success of your marketing team.
Productivity Hack #5. Batch Your Workload
One of my favorite productivity hacks is to batch tasks according to the type of activity. For example, if you create content, maybe Monday is your content creation day, Tuesday is your day for working on your PPC ads, Wednesday is for creating and scheduling your social media posts, Thursday is for meetings and Friday is to tie up loose ends. You get the idea.
When you work on a certain type of task, you get into a rhythm or “flow”. When you get into the zone, you are able to be more productive than if you’re switching from task to task.
Productivity Hack #6. Save Time With Automation
Using automation tools will improve your productivity. By investing in automation, your team will be able to focus on more complicated tasks instead of spending too much time on tasks that can be completed using automation.
There are many types of tasks that can be completed using automation.
- Social media management (Buffer, SproutSocial, Tailwind)
- Email service and marketing automation (Drip)
- Email list-building – (ConvertKit)
- Productivity – (Trello, Evernote, Todoist)
Productivity Hack #7. Schedule Time for Emails
Email communication can consume a lot of your time if you let it. In order to manage your schedule better, schedule time for checking and responding to emails twice a day.
Some productivity experts recommend completing your most important tasks early in the day. Keeping this in mind, you might want to schedule time for checking your emails once before lunch and again before the end of the day. This gives you blocks of time to schedule other important activities, such as meetings, items on your to-do list, etc., where you can stay focused on the task at hand.
Productivity Hack #8. Learn The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. The basic concept of The Pomodoro Technique is to work in 25-minute increments with 4-5 minute breaks in between each increment. While 25 minutes may not seem like a very long time, it is the natural attention span of humans. When you work on something for 25 minutes, you are able to give the task your full focus because it is for such a short period of time.
Chris Winfield, a successful entrepreneur, was able to complete a 40-hour workweek into 16.7 hours using The Pomodoro Technique.
To try this technique, set a timer and work for 25 minutes. Then take a 5-minute break. Repeat this process three more times. After the fourth break, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
Once you’ve got the hang of this method, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in 25 minutes.
These eight productivity hacks may seem overwhelming at first. Start by taking one hack at a time and see how it works for you. Changing too many work habits at once might be confusing, and you might revert to your old ways. Once you’ve adjusted to one hack, work on the next one until you reach peak efficiency.
What work habits have helped you improve your productivity? Please share your experience with the rest of the school marketing community in the comments below…
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for some of these resources which means that, at no cost additional to you, I make a commission if you purchase via my link.