When the world went on lockdown due to COVID-19, there was an explosion in the use of video conferencing services such as Zoom.
Sure, there are a LOT of benefits to video conferencing. Zero commuting time. Business on top, PJs on the bottom. You can meet with people across the world without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Most business cultures already had too many meetings even before the pandemic. Once remote work began, many companies saw an increase in meetings (although they were virtual and some were even fun … virtual happy hours, anyone?) as the best way to stay connected and keep business moving forward.
But are we sitting in too many meetings? Accepting too many disruptions into our vital working hours? Letting our mojo get hijacked for inconsequential notifications?
I think the answer is YES (and, yes, capitalization isn’t overkill here) and it’s killing our marketing results.
Would you believe many employees attend more than 60 meetings per month (yet 91% admitted daydreaming through them and 39% slept while in meetings!).
Ok, it’s not just Zoom meetings. It’s Slack notifications. Email. Our phones and social media.
In a survey of users of RescueTime, 98% of respondents said they were interrupted at least a few times every day.
We’re not just wasting time in corporate America, we’re wasting money! Research from Atlassian suggests U.S. businesses are committing $37 billion in salaries to unnecessary meetings.
Some of this loss is coming from context switching—what many believe is a superpower and is more commonly known as multitasking. But it can actually be your kryptonite.
Reacting to whatever enters your personal sphere isn’t the best way to be productive or to create stellar marketing assets.
Meetings and other distractions interrupt creative flow … which then results in subpar marketing campaigns.
Whether you call it being in the zone or creative flow, it’s that feeling of being totally energized and immersed in the work you need to do. This is where some of the most spectacular results emanate from. But it only takes one interruption to pop that euphoria. That’s why it’s critical to protect your focus time!
Marketing should 100% be data-driven, but to create marketing assets based on that data requires focus and attention. This is the beautiful moment where science meets art.
In my work helping enterprise technology companies with their data-driven digital marketing, I’m often faced with a situation where I must turn off distractions in order to focus my attention on bringing my best to my clients.
It looks something like this …
One of my clients had breaking news that would go public in 48 hours. This news would put the company in the spotlight, so you can imagine the C-suite was hammering the marketing team to spread the news at just the right time with the right impact.
My responsibility was to write the landing page. The curveball? I was only given a few hours to do it!
Since this wasn’t the first project I’d done for the company, I had a few things going for me: I knew their target audience, the company’s product and the industry lingo.
But I did something else that helped me pull off a miracle to get that landing page written in time — I turned off my phone and closed my email.
My years of experience being a copywriter has taught me many things. I learned the hard way years ago that when I’m working on something complex or time-sensitive, I have to shut out the world and focus.
So, that’s what I did to hit this crazy deadline.
When I opened my email again to send off the landing page copy, there were three urgent emails in my inbox. When I turned on my phone, there were multiple voicemails and text messages too.
Before I hit send, I reviewed the messages to ensure nothing in them would impact the copy I was about to deliver. Most of the messages were offers to get on Zoom to chat with me in case I needed to talk through the project. Isn’t it ironic?
I sent the draft just in the nick of time.
There was no time to spare. Imagine what could have happened if I had been interrupted by any of those messages while I was writing. I might have missed the deadline. Or worse, I might have turned in a poor draft that didn’t do the company justice on an important occasion.
What might excessive meetings and interruptions be doing to you or your team’s productivity and creative flow?
Since I’m a consultant, I can turn off my phone to produce my best work. Internal teams don’t always have that luxury. But maybe they should. They still need time and the gift of focus to do their best work sometimes.
Don’t let meetings and interruptions kill your marketing results. What will you do today to make sure they don’t?