How to schedule important work

Go from vague projects to a crystal clear to-do list. Learn how to define what important work is for you, and how to create a planning.

In this article, we'll dive into what it actually is you're spending your time on. And what are your top priority projects? What should you be working on? We'll use the insights to plan in a better way.

What do you spend your time on?

How do you know what to spend your time on as a marketer? How do you know what you should say ‘no’ to? First, you need to identify where your time is going. Is it mindless copy-pasting ad copy, manual dashboard entry and other admin tasks?

Only if you know that you’re wasting time, can you start to optimise your time.

The reality is that only a small percentage of tasks create 80% of the results. If content marketing is driving traffic and leads, you should spend as much time on it as possible (until you get diminishing returns).

The marketeer in this example is only spending 10% of her time on important work. With a bit of flexibility we could say half of the emails and meetings are part of the important work.

But looking at this time distribution, we both know that those meetings could’ve been emails. I’m not bashing this marketer in this example. The marketeers I’ve helped over the years want to get stuff done. They’re ambitious and want to make an impact. Yet they’re lost in the daily tasks. That’s why I’ve created the guide you are reading.

I want to get the admin of work out of the way, so you can spend more time doing marketing: building campaigns, being creative and learning new skills.

The ultimate goal is to spend 60% (or more) of your time on important work.

Let’s be realistic. There will always be things you have to do, that technically are not ‘the job’. That’s OK. And we’ll plan for that as well.

Take a second to think about this: how MUCH would you be able to accomplish with 20 hours a week (based on a 40-hour workweek)?

  • If you’re an SEO specialist, spend 60% of your time doing SEO.
  • If you’re a paid-performance specialist, spend 60% of your time building and optimising paid campaigns.
  • If you’re a copywriter, spend 60% on actually writing content or doing research.

You get the point. No more nights working late!

If you’re already doing this, amazing. If you’re not, don’t worry. You’re like most marketers I’ve worked with. I’m going to help you to get time balanced in a better way.

Chapter continues below

I hope you enjoy reading this free chapter.

What does "Important work" mean for you?

Let's start with a question: Do you know what your most important projects are? Or more generic: what does important work actually mean for you?

Let's find out in a few simple steps.

Braindump all the important projects

What are your important projects?

  • Create a list of projects for coming 1-3 months
  • Sort the list on the importance, from highest priority to lowest.
  • Do not consider length, hours needed or urgency. Only sort based on priority
  • Need inspiration? Look at quarterly goals, projects, OKRs

Create a shortlist from all the projects

What are the 3 MOST important projects you’re working on?

Leave the 'other' projects for now.

Add the tasks needed to complete the 3 projects

Create a list of all tasks

Add a list of tasks to complete each project. This should give you a longer list of all the tasks.

Create a shortlist for these tasks

Create a shortlist. What are the 3 MOST important tasks that need to happen first?

They can be 3 tasks for 1 project, or 1 task for each of the 3 projects.

Now you know what the most important task are, let's schedule them in your calendar.

''How to schedule important work'' is just the third chapter of our Master your Calendar guide. Want to learn more tips and tricks? Check out our entire Master your calendar Guide!

If you want to master your workweek to get more done and be less stressed, consider our productivity training.

About Ewoud

Ewoud Uphof

Ewoud Uphof is an experienced Growth Hacker, certified funnel optimiser and investor.

In the past decade he has co-founded multiple companies. As Head of Growth he has helped grow 50+ companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals. He has worked for Camptoo,, Sophia Mae, Koffievoordeel and many more.

More About Ewoud


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