Let’s face it, there’s a lot on your marketing plate and it all has to get done. Is the biggest workload portion usually heaped onto you? Then doubly so if you’re a single staffer business. Use the tips below to help you make the most of your marketing hours: 1. Manage Incoming Information – Part of your job is keeping abreast on news, new trends and industry information. You use Facebook, Twitter, newsletters and blogs…and you could easily spend all day gathering information. Dragging incoming information throughout the day does two things. One, it keeps you from being able to filter junk info from valuable info; and secondly, it wastes a lot of time. Manage your information gathering with one scheduled hour a day, either at the beginning or at the end of the day. Make use of Google alerts, Twitter lists, curated content sites, Tweetdeck…anything that can streamline information for you. 2. Understand How Your Mind Works – Everyone works differently. Know what works for you and what doesn’t. If creating a daily list is your thing, then keep doing it even if everyone else has moved on to apps and iPads. Some of us are still old school and the older ways of doing things are what keep us productive and moving forward. Case in point, every time I go to social media seminars, I see most people there toting ipads and laptops. At first I thought I was a caveman for not having mine – but then I noticed that pretty much everyone is using tech to web browse. No one has ever used it to interact with the seminar or take notes. Remember, just because everyone’s using something or looking “techie” doesn’t mean it’s helping them keep up with what’s going on. 3. Say No More – Marketing is a business for some people, and as such they want you involved, attending, participating. Other colleagues of yours will want you to attend their events, and expect you to show your support. Same with any networking groups you’re in. In a nutshell, the more social you are, the more you’re expected to “be supportive” or “get involved,” which at times can be a valuable opportunity for you to network - but it can easily suck your time away. Get used to saying no…a lot. Tell people you’ll have to check your schedule before committing to any engagement and then actually do it. 4. Distract Yourself – You’re not a work mule or suffering indentured servitude. You’re doing what you love and it should stay that way. So make sure you’re taking breaks, getting outdoors and doing what it takes to keep creative. Take a lunch break to a favorite eatery or a walk down a fun local area. You’ll be a lot more productive if you don’t treat your job like it’s slave labor you’re subjected to from 9 to 5 (or 7 to 9 if you work for yourself). If you’re an independent business owner, this rule applies to you more so than anyone else! 5. Use the Right Tools – There are plenty of formidable platforms and programs that will help you get the job done faster. This becomes a bit of a trial and error process. You’ll try out one or two programs and see whether it meets your needs, perhaps try a couple more, before you finally choose one that works for you. If you have employees, keep in mind that what works for one employee won’t work for another, so give them a little breathing room to choose the right one for them. Regardless of what you settle upon as your personal choice, you should be using some type of time management software.