Are you wasting time in your marketing agency?

With marketing agency owners working at the forefront of a dizzying and fast paced digital world, it is no surprise that many owners can find their lives are becoming busier and dizzying too! This piece will give eight simple and powerful hacks for time management, that will empower you to do more, using less time.

Here are the eight time management hacks in a nutshell:

  1. Batch your work
  2. Templatise your working processes
  3. Align your work with its context
  4. Protect your priorities
  5. Leverage Parkinson’s law
  6. Review and refine how your time is spent
  7. Create an empowering and consistent morning routine
  8. Habitually focus on the next steps


  1. Batch your work

Moving from one type of task to another can be quite cognitively taxing and take entrepreneurs away from that precious flow state where the magic happens. On the other hand, it’s much easier to retain a flowing focus when similar tasks are completed together. For example, emailing, preparing proposals and administrative tasks are among the kinds of work that can be batched together to harness your flow through task-consistency therefore creating a sense of time management.

  1. Templatise your working processes

If you’re finding yourself doing the same tasks repeatedly, you can template them so that they can be completed faster or delegated to someone else.

To do this, outline the tasks or processes that you repeatedly do and ask how they could be prepared and executed more quickly. For instance, you could create a workflow, setup regular calendar slots, or use softwares to automate aspects of your workflow. Many softwares can also integrate and talk to each other via APIs, which enable you to template and automate a range of processes together across different softwares and platforms ,which is exactly what time management is.

  1. Contextualise your tasks to optimise them

You may prefer to do some kinds of tasks in different times and places across your working day. For example, do you find that your energy for creative tasks is higher or lower in the morning or evening? Is it easier to energise yourself for routine tasks after exercising or taking a break? Seeing where our focus can be best used across the range of times, places, and formats that work can occur within, is a great way to optimise your time management for results and efficiency.

When it comes to contextualising your tasks, you can frame them via their whats, whens, wheres and hows to help you to find the best contexts for each task.

  1. Protect your top priorities

In the hectic digital world, a sea of ‘urgent but not important’ tasks can tempt busy agency owners away from the tasks that really move the needle for their marketing agency. Despite the best of intentions, sometimes these distractions or urgent emergencies do arise and if you’re not careful, they can take your day away. That is why protecting your top priorities is a priority in itself!

It starts with definition; choose up to three priorities each day, and schedule and organise them in a way that fits into the way your life and busy operates. In the end, keeping strong boundaries around the time that you commit to giving to these priorities is a great way to protect them amidst the fluxes of work in your role and business.

  1. Use Parkinson’s Law and the 80/20 rule to optimise your Time

Parkinson’s law states that the amount of work for a task tends to expand in proportion to the amount of time given to it. When the amount of time is too large for a task, it can lead to procrastination or diminishing returns in the form of superfluous work; this is an important example of why the 80/20 rule matters; the rule states that 80% of the value of our work arises from just 20% of the effort, whilst 80% of effort only creates about 20% of the value.

So, Parkinson’s law can be leveraged to get more done in less time via managing the amount of time that we allow for tasks. By doing this, it can help you to naturally hone into the most important aspects of the tasks at hand, whilst avoiding potentially undue expenditures of effort. More generally, this tip is about finding the most efficient and effective balance between the work at hand and the time given to it.

  1. Review how your time is spent regularly

Whether it’s a daily or weekly commitment, setting out time for reviewing how your time is being used, can help with creating improvements that are more efficient for you and your energy, with compounding improvements for your productivity and time management in the long term.

To do this, it’ll be important to have a single or a few ‘sources of truth’ for representing how your time was used for the period in question, this may be a calendar or software. For example, marketing agencies use tools such as Microsoft 365 and its analytics features to get insights into productivity.

Using these data points alongside methods such as journalling, you can examine how your time has been spent from the perspectives of:

  • Efficiency – could the work in question have been completed more quickly or easily?
  • Energy – how is the work in question effecting my energy, and other aspects of my work?
  • Effect – How could the time be used in a way that provides more value?


  1. Create an empowering, energising and consistent morning routine

The quality of your morning has a knock-on effect on the quality of your whole day, and this particularly matters in the lives of busy agency owners! Agency owners looking for a powerful and energising way to improve their time management can tap into their routines to supercharge their performance.

Routines start with habits, and habits are created by neural networks in the brain. A habit involves a context, an action, and a reward. Habits are created wherever these three things come together; put another way, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together’. For example, if you want to make a habit of exercising in the morning, you could leave your workout clothes in an obvious place when you wake up (context), which prompts the exercise (action) followed by your favourite coffee afterwards (reward).

  1. Train your focus towards what is in front of you

With the diversity of demands pulling on the attention of marketing agency owners, it can be tempting to spend quite a lot of time thinking about what needs to be done! Whilst counter-intuitive, by focusing on the next two steps only (the current task and the next one after that), more will get done.

One technique you can use is ‘parking’, which is a way to clear your mind to re-engage your focus. When thoughts about work come to mind, you can tell your mind ‘Thank you, I will come back to this later’; you can setup time to focus on thinking about upcoming work, juggling demands and exploiting new opportunities for example later on. In this way, everything including time spent on reflecting can be focused on from one moment to the next.


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