Hopefully, your marketing work in 2016 is off to a roaring start. You don’t want to experience burnout in the next few months, though! It’s important to keep your professional life from overwhelming your personal one, and everyone on your team has a similar need for a good work-life balance. Here are some good general principles to help you strike a balance between work and life that maximizes productivity and minimizes stress.
Make Your Priorities Clear
Every marketing team has an upper limit to its number of available man-hours. Portioning these hours out efficiently requires smart prioritization. Both routine tasks and special assignments should be evaluated to determine which jobs need the most attention. Setting priorities should really be a collaborative process; team members, managers, and leaders should all give their input.
The members of your team also need to understand your personal priorities. If a short-term personal issue is going to cut down on your availability, make sure everyone knows about it. (Being open and communicative will let you provide this sort of information without giving any more details than you’re comfortable sharing.) Team members’ balance between work and outside concerns will change over time, so availability is a point that should be reviewed regularly.
Make Your Technology Work For You
With today’s online tools, there’s no such thing as a marketer who’s truly out of reach. With that being said, you need to set boundaries on unscheduled contacts to prevent the working world from intruding on team members’ personal lives more than absolutely necessary. Encourage your team members to set up “private time” when they will be unavailable for work concerns. This creates sanity-restoring sanctuary hours in everyone’s day.
On the other hand, modern technology allows you to do a lot of different marketing functions virtually anywhere. Don’t be afraid to suggest telecommuting to your team; this can free up extra time to address personal matters without impacting productivity. If you’re proposing individual or group telecommuting to your superiors, make sure you stress the overall productivity benefits. Also, present the idea with clearly-defined procedures and goals for telecommuting work.
Make Your Office Friendlier
The principles outlined above are just a few ways to help team members balance their marketing responsibilities and their personal lives. Don’t be afraid to explore more options in a collaborative setting! Reviewing work-life balance issues as a team fosters a sense of openness and can be a real morale booster. When a team member expresses issues regarding his or her workload, treat it as a problem that needs to be resolved.
Struggles with the balance between work and personal life are a major source of friction and burnout, especially in fields as fast-paced and results-driven as marketing and public relations. Managers must be sensitive to their team members’ needs in order to keep everyone as happy (and productive!) as possible. Inventive and sensitive solutions to work-life balance problems are an excellent way to reward hard-working team members.
Make Your Clients Understand
This is the most sensitive part of balancing your working life with your personal life. In marketing, a lot of the pressure to deliver quickly comes from clients. It often feels unprofessional (or even dangerous) to draw a line and tell customers that their demands are unreasonable. Rushed work is rarely great work, though, and your clients need to understand this.
Ideally, you should take the time to discuss scheduling limitations and turnaround times with individual clients before you go to work on their behalf. You may even want to institute a responsive billing structure that makes rush work cost more. This is often the best way to signal to clients that their demands are putting a strain on your team’s resources.
Preventing burnout is important at every level in the marketing industry. Doing great work requires experience, talent, and creativity. It’s difficult to keep your reserves of all three essential qualities high if you have an imbalance between your professional and personal responsibilities. Strike an effective work-life balance for yourself and your team in order to finish out 2016 as strong and satisfyingly as you’ve started it.