Most people would agree that they could benefit from better time management. In fact, the right time management strategies can be essential for navigating a busy work life. Let’s say you and your agency team have a pile of client tasks and marketing projects on your plate, and you’re optimistic about your ability to get them done. But, in the blink of an eye, the end of the workday is here and the majority of those to-dos are still unfinished.
Is that feeling familiar? You aren’t alone. Time management was ranked as the second biggest challenge facing marketing agencies in a 2018 survey — coming in only behind getting new clients. So, what is the secret to unlocking better time management and improved productivity?
You’re ready to stop fighting the clock. So, let’s dig into some time management strategies you can use to make the most of your agency’s hours and energy.
Why time management matters in marketing agencies
Why is time management important? Here’s the short answer: Time is money.
You know that billable hours are what keep your lights on. But, when you aren’t allocating your team’s time effectively, you’re leaving money on the table.
When it comes to time management, marketing teams can’t afford to waste hours. Yet, data from HubSpot reveals that the average marketer spends 16 hours per week on routine tasks alone. That’s hardly the best use of your team’s time and creative energy. The right time management strategies can help your agency reign in wasted hours and get back on track.
That’s the crux of time management’s value. It maximizes working hours so that you and your team can invest more time and energy into delivering high-quality work to your agency’s clients.
Time management activities that save money
When time is money, it’s obvious that effective time management has a direct impact on your agency’s bottom line. These time management strategies will not only save you money — they’ll help you make more of it.
1. Track your time
It’s hard to manage your agency’s time more effectively if you don’t know how you’re currently spending it. This is where a time tracking solution comes in handy.
By having your team members track their time, you can establish your agency’s capacity utilization rate — which is the percentage of your employee’s time that can actually be billed to clients. The average utilization rate is around 60%. If your agency is coming in a lot lower than that, now you have some hard data about what other tasks are absorbing your team’s time.
Additionally, time tracking will help you avoid overservicing your clients. When you overservice, you’re spending time you’re not getting paid for. Yet, 67% of agencies believe they overservice at least half of their clients.
2. Templatize your work intake process
Landing new client projects is exciting — but it’s also time-consuming if you don’t have a refined system in place.
Only 16% of creative teams report using creative briefs for all projects. And, even when there is a brief submitted, it often lacks the information agency teams actually need. While 58% of clients believe they provided enough details in their creative briefs, only 27% of agencies agree.
Creating a templated work intake process ensures your team gets their hands on the relevant details upfront, without making things burdensome for your clients. You’ll have a repeatable system in place for kicking off creative projects right.
3. Break big projects into manageable chunks
Your agency team is busier than ever. In fact, one study found that 71% of creative workers were producing 10 times more work in 2015 compared with 2010. And workloads have only continued to expand since then.
When your agency has an ever-growing to-do list and tons of daunting client projects on your schedule, it’s tough to figure out where to get started.
It’s important to break those big, hairy projects down into more manageable chunks (it’s the “eat an elephant one bite at a time” approach). Completing those mini milestones will help you stay motivated, since our brains seek instant gratification. And, it also helps you avoid multitasking — which research shows takes up 40% more time than focusing on a single task.
Using Wrike for better time management
You want to implement some of the above time management strategies. But, let’s face it — you’re busy and better time management doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t have time to master those new approaches and overhaul the way your team gets work done.
That’s where a platform like Wrike can come in handy. It’s a single solution that will help your agency manage and deliver top-notch projects to your clients. Wrike’s features make it easy to implement all of the time management tips we mentioned above:
- Keep an eye on your team’s time and creative energy with Wrike’s task timer: With the push of a button, Wrike’s task timer lets you and your team log the amount of time you’re spending on various project tasks.
- Streamline your work intake process with dynamic request forms: With a dynamic request form, your clients select an answer to an initial dropdown question (i.e. “What type of project are you requesting?”). All subsequent questions will be tailored based on that first response. So, for example, if they select “social campaign” from that initial dropdown, they’ll only be presented with creative brief questions for a social campaign — and not an eBook or an email marketing strategy.
- Break down large projects with tasks: Within Wrike, there are spaces, projects, folders, and tasks. Tasks are the smallest building blocks, and they can have individual assignees, due dates, statuses, and more. You can visualize these different tasks on a Gantt chart, use them to create a more actionable and manageable project plan, and keep a close eye on progress.
Make the most of these time management strategies
Don’t be one of those agencies who tries to get things done without project management software. Enlisting the help of a work management platform will help you save stress, and it’s the perfect complement to the other tips outlined in this time management guide.
Combining the above tips with your project management software means your agency can save time and invest more hours into what really matters: serving your clients.
Ready to streamline your processes, maximize your team’s hours, and deliver better work? Start your free trial of Wrike.