The Conversation Research Institute’s recent high-level investigation into the concept of work-life balance found that the biggest themes emerging from the negative conversation were the ideas that it didn’t exist. The term was closely associated with the words “myth” and “impossible” among others in negative conversations.

Looking at the U.S. State of Marketing Work Report released today from Workfront, you’d have to say that for marketers, that perception is real. The average workweek for marketers is 45.9 hours, compared to 45.1 hours per week for non-marketing counterparts. More than half said they take 30 minutes or less for lunch while 30% said they take less than 15 minutes lunch break. An astounding 46 percent said they were too busy to take a lunch break. Yet 73 percent of marketers say the thought of working after hours or on weekends made them feel negatively.

Workfront surveyed 606 U.S. adults ages 18 and older employed full- or part-time and who worked at a company with 500 or more employees, worked on a computer and collaborated with other people.

I shared my take on the situation — not knowing Workfront’s report would come out this week — as the final thought for the Louisville Digital Association’s Digital Crossroads conference Friday. I told the crowd gathered we’re doing too much, juggling too many balls and becoming mediocre at a lot of things rather than really good at a few marketing activities.

My challenge to them then is my challenge to you now. Make a list of all your marketing projects. Prioritized them based on what is performing well and what needs work. Now draw a line above the bottom five percent of those projects. (So if you have 10, draw the line between 9 and 10. If you have 100, draw the line between 94 and 95.)

Now take the bottom five projects and kill them. Dead. Cut funding. Cut staffing. And re-route those resources to something in the top 10 or so that needs just a little more effort to be optimally successful. Do this every month for six months and see how much better your marketing gets.

That doesn’t solve the problem of working too many hours — we can spend the same time on fewer projects — but it sure might make the hours we do spend more effective. As for the problem of working too much and not finding balance in our lives? There are a lot smarter folks out there than me at giving advice on that. But I’d love to hear how you draw your lines and what methods you employ to protect that down time.

The comments, as usual, are yours.

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