I recently started reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. As the Founder & CEO of Behance, he has studied creative and productive individuals and teams from a variety of industries. In this book he compiles they’re principles. As I stated in my first post, I recently moved to New York and am new to leading a team. One of my challenges has been organising time to implement new ideas. Part 1 of Scott’s book talks about Organization and Execution. In his opening paragraph, Scott discusses the relationship between creativity and organisation.
“In a world obsessed with innovation, it is easy to fall in love with ideas.” – Scott Belsky, Making Ideas Happen
He goes on to discuss society’s inherent need to segment- in this case into “left-brain” and “right-brain people” , which places those creative into a separate camp to those who are organised. As a marketer, I see on a daily basis that in reality – there is no need for this split!. As Scott says, “when creative and organizational tendencies are able to coexist, society is pushed forward as remarkable ideas are actualized.”
He goes on to discuss how execution is a skill that must be developed and how effective execution starts with organisation. Scott reaffirms the moral of the story of my first blog post and the importance of organisation. As marketers we have to take the time to organise the creativity, to focus our time and our resources. On any one given day we have to juggle many tasks and the needs of our team mates.
I teach my team to organise by planning by day, by week, by month and by year. At the beginning of each year, I get them to write in their diaries the key deadline dates for each of their projects. At the beginning of each month, I get them to check these dates have not changed but also add in time to implement new marketing strategies as each month we have a new focus. For example, this month we are focusing on data build and growing our database by 10,000 records. At the beginning of each week, I sit down with each member of my team and help them plan their week. I ask them to identify which tasks are urgent and which are important. We then discuss how to balance the tasks to effectively use their time. At the beginning (and end) of each day, we plan into our diaries 30 minutes to check email. Email is a distraction..that little window that pops up on the bottom right hand corner of my screen! By planning this time each day, we avoid missing those pesky, unpredictable and uncontrollable tasks that enter our to-do lists each day. By planning this time, we also allow ourselves to focus on the task we are working on that moment, as we know we have allocated time for email later.
In my first blog post, I talked about how I approached my first few weeks in a new business. Integral to this was how I could make a difference, mainly through the implementation of new ideas. The purpose of that post was to relay my tips for ensuring new ideas are implemented in a timely and effective manner.
So I repeat my tips for how I have organised my time to implement new ideas:
- Mind map – write down everything no matter how small
- Identify the activities that are time sensitive
- Turn this into a timeline
I highly recommend Scott Belsky’s – Making Ideas Happen (and I’m only the first few chapters in.) It provides easy to follow practical solutions so you can Make your Ideas Happen.