Hey Jo,

For the past month, I’ve been working late almost every night. I’m stretched thin across all the reporting and maintenance I have to do in a given day, and when I’m not on the clock, I’m still thinking about work!
It seems like there’s always more on my plate; more processes to improve, more leads to bring in, more requests to handle. The MOPs world seems to reward this level of activity, but I need to take it down a notch. What can I do to stop burning out? How can I get time back for myself?

Thanks,
Always On Alex.

 

Alex, you did the right thing reaching out. In the past, I’d fallen hard for this mentality of “MOPs never stops.” I thought “no” wasn’t an option, so I said “yes” to everything. Soon, I was skipping lunches to catch up with reports. All of my reading outside of work was about Marketo; I’m pretty sure I was even dreaming about lead lifecycles.

Sales needs more opportunities, there’s never too much revenue for the business, every other MOPs influencer has a blog and a podcast. With that much energy around me, I felt I needed to spend every spare hour catching up, being “productive,” doing more.

I really didn’t. Neither do you.
Here’s how you take back control of your time:

Structure your goals and processes: There are always things you can improve on in martech, and it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew.
Got a big project on your hands? Break it down into small, achievable goals. Come up with a plan and agree with your boss what you’ll deliver and when. For day-to-day tasks, reach out to your regular stakeholders and figure out workflows that mutually fit. Ordering your tasks based on urgency and time demands helps too—just factor in some meeting-free slots for yourself to really focus.

Ask for help: It’s impossible to know everything there is about a tool, or have the time to do it all. Speak with your manager about the budget for extra headcount or an agency to spread out the work. Agencies are more likely to be in your reach, so it’s worth talking to other departments about their agency needs; you could score a better deal by approaching one with multiple streams of work.

“No” and “Yes, but…”: Be tangible about how much time a task takes, the knock-on effect of taking on new responsibilities, and the resources and sign-off you’ll need to do something well.
If a request brings something you don’t have the time or expertise to handle, “no” creates a boundary that helps everyone; you get to focus on your main priorities, and that task goes to someone more suitable. Voicing the output consequences behind each responsibility sets clear, accurate expectations.

Give yourself space: Remind yourself near the end of the day: what am I really excited to do tonight? Put the laptop away when you’re back from the office; get up and move around if you’re working from home. What are you watching, reading, or listening to that you can’t do at work? Whatever your hobbies, do them not because they’re “useful”; do them because you want to.

Remember: eat right, sleep well, look after yourself. There’s more to life than the grind.

You’ve got this,
Jo.

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