As we cross the annual midpoint, many businesses experience a transition period, making this an ideal time to assess marketing effectiveness to make the necessary adjustments for finishing the year strong.
However, unlike the obvious transition to a new calendar year, this yearly midpoint often passes by with the lazy summer that accompanies it (here in the northern hemisphere).
That is unfortunate, because now is the time for ramping up to still accomplish annual objectives, or even raise targets if everything is working out well.
Planning and productivity is always relevant, because time is the one obstacle small businesses most frequently give for failing to consistently build their content marketing assets.
So, let’s take a closer look.
#1 – Plan Your Timelines
Planning gets a bad rap for being a time consuming activity. The truth is planning gives back time.
When you plan ahead you are investing in your future accomplishments; and just a few focused minutes every day will pay huge dividends well into the future.
Many of us are guilty of underestimating the time necessary for getting things done. The solution is to write out a timeline for each and every day, thereby giving you and your team checkpoints for staying on schedule.
This is as simple as jotting down the time you plan to awake, depart for work, arrive at work, start the first project, finish it, and so on. The idea is that having a planned timeline that can be modified at any moment gives you a sense of control.
Priorities often do require change, such as the need for setting aside a project to work on one that is more urgent. However, planning for interruption makes it just another ordinary occurrence.
Also, the sense of accomplishment for completing that important project will often give you a mental lift that makes everything else work out more smoothly.
#2 – Finish What You Start
Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Tweet this
When Eisenhower said planning is everything he was acknowledging that plans often change. So, don’t get married to them. It’s the thought process that goes into the planning that makes it invaluable for adapting to unforeseen conditions.
One application of this is planning to finish what you start. The mental and physical mobilization required for virtually any activity is at least partially lost when it fails to go to completion.
For example, as a content creator you understand it is best to get the first version of your writing, audio, or video completed in one take to capture the initial flow of thoughts and energy. After that, the editing process naturally shifts to a new mindset, one with more emphasis on curation than creation.
Plan to finish and you will. Anything finished is usually better than unfinished, especially if it can be upgraded later.
#3 – Save Time on Transitions
Following a daily timeline will not only build the habit of focusing on key activities, it will also make you more aware of the hidden pockets of time between them.
For example, as we transitioned to a new month I simply pulled up my editorial calendar to be reminded of the topic for July.
The planning for it was completed long ago, thereby making the transition seamless. That initial investment in time is recovered today as I work on implementation only, without the need to revert back to planning mode.
Most small businesses know to focus on their core activities. The smart ones also study the gaps between activities where valuable time is needlessly leaking through.
Construction companies appropriately refer to transition time as downtime, because it is costly.
If you put your attention to applying some of these practices, you will regain control of your day, your content marketing, and your business.
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About the Author: Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)