Deep Focus: The Unheralded Skill of Digital Marketing Leaders

Deep Focus: The Unheralded Skill of Digital Marketing Leaders

Deep Focus: The Unheralded Skill of Digital Marketing Leaders. Keeping up with changes in the digital marketing space can often feel like a job unto itself. Because as Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, told me in an interview: “social media platforms are ad engines hand-crafted to be as distracting as possible to transform your hours of attention into revenue.” So how can digital marketing leaders improve their capacity to establish deep focus—that prolonged period of uninterrupted time to work on a single task—when the role itself often means entering into spaces perfectly built to be distracting? If you tell your colleagues you need deep focus time from, say, 1-4pm, and at the end of it you deliver what you promised, they’ll trust you—and it also sets the stage for them to do something similar. As a digital marketing leader, however, it’s also important to establish dedicated periods of time to explore new tools. This is a surefire way to divide our attention and make us feel overwhelmed—especially when we are tasked with reporting these results to our executive team in a way that makes sense. A digital marketing dashboard can pull all the metrics you possibly need to know—from Google Analytics, Slack and Salesforce to every major social media outlet and even basic spreadsheets—and wrap them into a gorgeous real-time dashboard that lets you see everything in a single glance. (4) Create A Personal Focus Practice I spend 30 minutes each morning in sitting meditation. It’s a practice that allows me to focus—to strip away all distractions and simply focus on my breath. Remember: Being distracted isn’t just something that happens and is out of our control; it can actually be a habit we form.

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Keeping up with changes in the digital marketing space can often feel like a job unto itself. Search engine algorithms are always evolving and new tools are continuously being developed (and being pitched to us by fellow marketers).

The sheer pressure of keeping up with so many tools and technologies while constantly assessing what new product may be of value can, if we let it, soak up a significant portion of our work days.

And when this is paired with working in trendy new open-layout office spaces—where enclosed spaces for focus are often limited and everybody can see and hear everything everybody else is doing—a recipe for productivity disaster can begin to form.

This recipe intensifies when you factor in that many of us in digital marketing—especially those of us working for scrappy startups and small businesses, are also tasked with managing and monitoring the company’s social media presence.

Why is social media worth mentioning? Because as Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, told me in an interview:

“social media platforms are ad engines hand-crafted to be as distracting as possible to transform your hours of attention into revenue.”

So how can digital marketing leaders improve their capacity to establish deep focus—that prolonged period of uninterrupted time to work on a single task—when the role itself often means entering into spaces perfectly built to be distracting?

Here are 5 tips that have helped me and may be of value to you as well:

(1) Make Focus Part of Your Company’s Culture

This is easier said than done, but every seemingly insignificant step towards it can be an investment that pays off not just for you but for the company as a whole.

Our team takes focus seriously, and it’s what has served as the backbone for much of our success. If a colleague needs to have writing time or otherwise have their head down for a few uninterrupted hours, we’ve created a safe space for them to do so.

How?

It all comes down to the basics of effective communication and the building of trust. Rather than simply disappearing for a few hours, let your colleagues know what you need and what your plans are. A perfect time to do this is during a morning scrum session.

Trust is then built from what you achieve. If you tell your colleagues you need deep focus time from, say, 1-4pm, and at the end of it you deliver what you promised, they’ll trust you—and it also…

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