On a typical morning, you may find yourself posting a tweet, sitting in on a Skype call, typing up a proposal, and reaching across your morning cup of joe to answer your cell phone -- all at the same time.
According to some studies up to 50 percent of us say we accomplish only half the work we have planned for that day. Is it any wonder, then, that we have trouble finding the time to gain ground on our most important branding and marketing efforts?
Still as a branding and marketing strategist, I firmly believe that the degree to which you promote your own business, book, product, or cause determines the level of success you achieve. If want more brand awareness, you must learn to make time for marketing.
Here are four easy ways you can avoid distraction and find the time to focus on getting the word out about your business.
1. Capture all marketing-related ideas and actions.
Just think about what happens when you are running too many programs on your computer -- it usually slows down or even freezes up. The same is true for your brain; there is a limit to how much you can focus on at one time. Getting stuff out of your head and onto PDA or paper helps keep your mental space freed up to focus.
Take a few minutes -- right now -- and do a brain dump of all the marketing and branding items you have been holding in your head, and capture them. Just taking the time to capture all the open marketing items in your life and write them down can dramatically improve your ability to focus and get things done.
The best practice is to use a tool that helps you quickly capture all these things, even before you decide what to do with them. The tool can be a yellow pad, a sophisticated software program, or a simple To Do file in your computer.
2. Use time planning for marketing and branding activities.
Earlier this week, I needed to get my email newsletter out to announce a series of personal branding and thought leadership teleclasses I was going to be leading. I'd been putting this off for weeks and knew if I did not do it soon, I'd miss the boat. So, I opened my calendar and blocked off a period of one hour on a Wednesday, between 9 and 10 a.m., to get the work done.
To make more time for marketing and branding, go through your calendar and schedule a specific day and period of time when you will work on a marketing or branding item you have been putting off or need to get done. Time periods ranging from fifteen minutes to one hour are the most effective.
And don't just plan your time in your head -- write the plan down. Studies show that 75 percent of individuals who set a specific time and date to complete something, do complete it.
3. Engage the power of your to-do list.
Marketing mavens know that resisting trivial distractions and facing the more challenging and significant tasks before them leads to a greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Making those more significant branding and marketing tasks "A" priorities, whether they are time sensitive or not, helps bring them to the top of the heap.
Here's how to do it. Write down and review all the items on your to-do list for the day. Next, determine which items would move you closer to achieving your marketing and branding goals. Assign those items an "A" priority -- regardless of how time-sensitive or urgent they may or may not be.
Every workday for the next week, do at least one "A" priority item from your list. At the end of the week, you will have focused your energy (five times at least) on achieving your marketing and branding objectives.
4. Break down your big marketing and branding projects into smaller pieces.
If you find yourself procrastinating on a large marketing or branding project, try breaking it into smaller pieces. This will help you act more quickly and easily, while at the same time countering the overwhelming feeling of too much to do.
For example, one of my clients was doing a total overhaul on her website, but every time she went to work on it, she became like a deer in headlights. It was just too much to confront at one time.
Her solution was to pick a simple, single, easy action she could do every day and do that. It became a series of smaller mini-tasks, including: Ask the programmer to create a "Contact Us" page, rewrite the bio on the "About" page, and add client testimonials to the "Services" page.