Off Your Plate

Getting Things Off Your PlateIf you’re a marketer, you’ve got a lot of people counting on you.

Creative is always needing your input on their work. Financial analysts need you to ok their latest pricing models. Legal and Regulatory need you to send your wish list of claims. R&D needs you to narrow down their work. Customer Service needs you to point the way on just how to deal with certain customers.

And on and on.

Someone’s always counting on marketing because marketing is what sets the tone. Marketing writes the agenda for just about the rest of the company.

Which can present a problem. There’s nothing more you want than to move things forward. The issue is that, more times than not, the quagmire is you. On top of that, you’re normally not the person who actually executes what needs to happen, so you have to rely on others. Who in turn are first relying on you.

It’s only natural. You can only handle so many emails, so many meetings, so many phone calls, so many presentations. But nobody else really cares about that. What they want to know is what to do next.

So here’s the challenge: how can you quickly get things off your plate and onto someone else’s?

Isn’t that normally the issue? You have 8 hot items stuck because you simply haven’t had the bandwidth to concentrate on them for just a few minutes and move them along. So they just sit there, and sit there, and then you work late one night and blast them all out, only to find that it then shakes up your whole support team, cuz they don’t know exactly what and when to do next.

What if you took 30 minutes a day to get things “off your plate” and into the hands of someone who can move it forward. Treat it almost like a race, replying quickly to emails, returning calls and writing directional briefs for a solid 30 minutes. It puts the ball back in the court of the players (rather than with you, the coach) so that something can actually get done.

Lately, I’ve been doing it first thing in the morning, before I make my breakfast shake in the office, before I open my calendar, before all that stuff. My problem is doing it when I feel like I don’t have 30 minutes to burn. But then it hit me, if each item takes an hour for the “player” to complete, and I have on average 5 items to get off my plate at any given time, then that 30 minutes quickly becomes 5 hours worth productivity. So it makes sense.

Don’t overlook or underestimate the importance of your constant guidance in a project. You’re the marketer. You’re the one responsible for getting your product to market, and no one is going to completely share your paradigm and sense of urgency. Your team is dependent on you for those things. You’ve got to remind them, and you’ve got to get them what they need to get it done.

You’ve got to get things off your plate.

Related posts on Brett’s Blog:

  1. Thinking Outside the List
  2. Move the Box

One response to “Off Your Plate

  1. I like the post! I think you hit on a lot of key points. Thank you.

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