Marketers all too often find themselves wearing several hats, especially in the AEC industry where everything from proposals to press releases to social media to conferences to graphics to website maintenance all fall underneath the marketing scope of services. Having worked in-house for AEC firms since 2010, I remember constantly striving to perfect my juggling act and keep all of the marketing tasks floating mid-air.
Having now read The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan, I challenge marketers to accept that “Multi-tasking is a lie.” I can attest to the face that I used to boast about my multi-tasking capabilities and that I even thrived on juggling multiple marketing activities at once. But as the author so aptly points out,
“Juggling is an illusion. To the casual observer, a juggler is juggling three balls at once. In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. Catch, toss, catch, toss…it’s what researchers refer to as task switching.”
According to researcher Dr. David Meyer featured in the book, task switching costs 25% more in extra time lost for simple tasks to over 100% more time lost for more complicated tasks. The graphic below illustrates this point.
Instead of striving to be the perfect juggler, marketers should work with their principals and managers to determine the greatest priority for the day and give it your undivided attention. For everything else, consider delegating to resources in-house or plan to budget for additional outside support to ensure none of the balls get dropped in your marketing and business development plan.
Written by: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP