As a marketing manager, you’re responsible for staying in-the-know, fostering creativity, directing your team in developing and executing campaigns, and ensuring their success. And certainly, there’s often plenty of hat-changing involved as well.
Your job can easily spill over into your personal life – you’ll be eagerly anticipating results, checking on campaigns, and always available for your team. When it comes to social media campaigns especially, marketers will too often find the borders between their personal and professional social media usage inadvertently erased.
With all this, you might find yourself feeling like you’re basically always at work – and you kind of are, because you’re just not getting that healthy distance from your job, which we all need in order to preserve our sanity.
In addition, recent happenings have made it even more difficult for marketing managers to preserve their mental health.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses are working hard to adapt and stay on their audiences’ radars. There are also some new opportunities in this new landscape – for example, Facebook ad revenue in Q2 of 2020 went up ten percent compared to Q2 of 2019. This means brands surely expect their marketing managers to work harder in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
Companies are going for a more aggressive approach to content marketing, social media advertising, and around-the-clock customer support. As a result, the danger of burnout has never been more severe for marketing managers.
Let’s look at a few tactics on how to avoid the worst consequences of these circumstances.
By far, the most important thing is to create clear and definite boundaries. Once the work is over, it’s over. Don’t check your email on your phone; in fact, keep work away from your personal devices.
If your team is small, you’ll need to be especially vigilant regarding their capacities. When the going gets tough, you might find your team overworked and their responsibilities spilling over into your cup. Try to address this with your employer as soon as you possibly can. If your company wishes to be available on social networks 24/7, for example, and you have only two people assigned to that, they’ll have to hire more.
Obviously, you’ll have to settle that with your superiors right away. Often, they might try to give you occasional tasks during after-hours and argue that “it’s really important” and that “it takes just a minute,” but to really get your mind off work, you’ll have to learn to turn them down.
For you, it’s never just a minute. It’s a long process of getting yourself back into a different frame of mind and then getting out of it again. Remember, your brain needs downtime with no interruptions so that you can stay productive, fresh, and healthy.
Take Regular Breaks
On the same token, it’s crucial that you give your brain a chance to rest during working hours as well. For instance, getting your eyes off your computer screen for just 15 seconds every ten minutes can reduce your fatigue by up to 50 percent.
Furthermore, there’s overwhelming evidence that taking a five-minute walk every hour or so can literally do wonders for your mental health. It reduces levels of stress hormones significantly and helps you get through the day.
Having a little stroll around the office now and then can also help you find some inspiration when you need it. When you do creative work, one of the greatest sources of frustration is feeling stuck, staring at a blank doc file with no decent ideas whatsoever. Getting your mind off whatever you’re doing for just a few minutes and giving your brain a chance to breathe will get its background processes up and running again. And when you least expect it, a good idea will just pop up in your head.
Limit Your Screen Time
Now, let’s get back to how you spend your time when you’re not working. In the first section, we mentioned that you need to “plug out” in order to avoid burnout. This means more than just not doing your actual job – it also means reducing your screen time in general.
According to research, spending six hours a day or more in front of a screen increases the risk of moderate or severe depression. But we don’t really need research to know this. We’ve all been there, overcome by feelings of drowsiness and apathy after staring at our devices for absurd amounts of time.
Of course, you’re the supreme authority when it comes to choosing your ways to unwind. But endless binge-watching and scrolling through feeds every night may have a truly negative effect on how you feel long-term. Keep that in mind and try being reasonable with the amount of time you spend staring at electronic devices.
Mind Your Sleeping Habits
Excessive screen time won’t do any favors to your sleeping habits either, and there’s an unquestionable relation between a lack of sleep and anxiety.
Anyone who ever worked in any sort of creative industry knows how hard it is to get your brain to function properly after just a couple of hours of sleep. Also, it’s futile and even contradictory to sacrifice sleep for work. Namely, lack of sleep can be detrimental in this context, as people with insomnia are 56 percent more likely to have impaired work performance.
In short, the consequences of bad sleep are tension and anxiety, and the consequence of tension and anxiety is being less productive at work.
Struggling with productivity at work will only lead to more tension and anxiety, and all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself inside a vicious circle that can only end with complete burnout. In an era that idolizes tirelessness and extreme competitiveness, sleep health is actually more important than ever.
Work on Assignments in Batches
The job of a marketing manager usually entails a fair amount of multitasking. Unsurprisingly, multitasking induces stress, particularly if it’s followed by the constant bombardment with all sorts of electronic information.
Try organizing your tasks in batches that make sense to you, and create time slots for each batch. Perhaps you’ll find it easiest to divide your work by campaigns – so, for example, you’ll dedicate a certain amount of time to all the tasks you need to do regarding your company blog (brainstorm topics, brief writers, send feedback, etc.), then another slot for everything related to paid ads, then another one for social media, and so on.
Maybe you’d like to do it in a completely different way – it all depends on your circumstances, the size of your team, and the scope of your responsibilities. The point is to have a system in place – a system that works for you, as opposed to frantically running through different tasks and constantly feeling like you’re just trying to keep up with everything. One recommendation is try to do the worst tasks first. Whether it’s “the worst” because it’s complicated, tedious, or you simply hate doing it, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by getting it done first. This will create a sense of accomplishment and free up mental bandwidth that will allow you to complete other projects.
Furthermore, beware of the tasks that are typically interruptive, such as answering emails or running impromptu team meetings. They might seem like they take up only a few minutes, but the truth is that they pull your focus away from what you’re doing, and it’s always going to take your brain a longer time to get that focus back once you’re at it again. Instead, it’s best to dedicate time slots for these activities – for example, you can dedicate the first half-hour of your work every day to email, and the last 15 minutes of every workday to team meetings.
If you’re worried you might forget something if you don’t address it right away, write a reminder, whether in an app or on a good old post-it note. Leave it until its dedicated time slot, and you’ll see that yes, indeed, it could wait. In the meantime, you’ll be able to focus on your work without interrupting your flow.
Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life
Finally, you need to keep in mind that nothing can help you relax more than a rich, fulfilling personal life. In this day and age, people tend to feel guilty whenever they’re not productive or not making money. It feels as if our jobs are not only the most important thing in our lives, they are our lives, and everything else is just an accessory and often a waste of time.
If you’re inclined to think that way, there’s no way on Earth you’ll avoid extreme stress and burnout. You need to devote as much time as possible to whatever and whoever makes you really happy. It may be that you’re stressed not by your work but rather by what’s (not) happening outside work. Let yourself explore and enjoy life – it’s the only way to be at ease with both your work and the world.
Article source: Natasha Lane
Image source: depositphotos.com