This is part of a 30 posts in 30 days series chronicling my first 30 days in my new role as President of Hanapin Marketing.
If you work in a PPC agency, or any agency for that matter, you will spend some time on the road in client’s offices or on sales calls. The account work doesn’t stop, however, so you have to find ways to stay productive. I typically travel about 10% of the time but lately it is closer to 20%. Still not bad all things considered but being Out Of Office (OOO) one out of every 5 days means I have to stay productive while on the road.
Here are a few tips that have allowed me to rack up the miles (about 50k in 2013) while still getting things done.
1. Know who you are
It’s important to understand what refuels you, when you get your best work done and what energizes you. If you are a morning person, wake up a little early to handle things. If you are a night owl, skip the after dinner drink and get some work done before bed. I am an early bird so waking up 2-3 hours before I need to does the trick for me.
2. Schedule your time
Having a list of things to get done isn’t enough. Creating a list and then thinking to yourself that you’ll work on “x” when you get a minute will certainly lead to failure. You’ll get tired, busy or spot something more fun to do. When traveling you should schedule when you will be productive and when you will not be before hand. That way you ensure you make time to get everything done and you’ll feel less guilty for having fun. I like to schedule the first couple hours after arrival and then the first 2-3 hours of each day for work.
3. Stay Offline
Okay, not the entire time. But being OOO has the advantage of being less available. Making sure you have free WiFi or paying big bucks to get it can be counter productive. Stay offline as long as you can by working on presentations, 90-day strategies and blog posts and then logging on once it is time to push them live.
4. Travel In Numbers
It isn’t always possible, but when it is I find that traveling with other people increases my productivity. That is because a.) I can talk through problems with them while sitting at the gate at their airport, etc. and b.) there is more visibility into who I am spending my time and I feel more compelled to set a good example.
5. Decide What Needs To Get Done Before You Leave
Don’t wait until you are on the road to figure out what you will accomplish. Make your list of Must Dos and things that would be nice to do before you leave so when you get to the times you have set aside you don’t waste time thinking about what you should be working on.
If you are interested in reading all posts in this series you can start with post 1 about what I am focusing on as president of a PPC agency. The next post, #10, is about how all PPC Account Managers are headed for burnout.