Ran across an interesting article about getting things done and thus being more effective in practicing law by adopting five principles of GTD discussed by Daniel Gold in a piece he wrote for Attorney at Work.  It struck me that the same ideas are applicable to greater effectiveness when it comes to marketing.

His five phases of productivity include (as I see them applicable to marketing):

  1. Collection. First, it is important to gather all your marketing tasks from your various “in-boxes,” which may include both the physical and digital versions, as well as the poorly organized ideas on loose stickies or papers lying around;
  2. Processing. When you have gathered all your ideas or “stuff” into one place, then you should analyze them for worthiness and discard those that you shouldn’t waste your time on.  You need to ask whether your marketing idea is sensible, doable, likely to lead to profitable new business, or just a waste of time;
  3. Organizing. Of course, then you should decide on priorities, and list the activities, targets, and time frames to accomplish your marketing tasks;
  4. Reviewing. When it comes to legal project tasks, I agree with Gold that setting aside time on a Friday afternoon is a good idea to assess where things stand, including what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.  And so it should be for marketing tasks.  This review can deal with things that need to be re-prioritized for the coming week or possibly dropped for whatever reason.   As Gold points out: “The weekly review allows you to empty those in-boxes  reflect on the past week and prepare to the week ahead.”  Oh yes, and free up your mind for an enjoyable weekend, since things will be more under control; and
  5. Doing.  Obviously, the most important phase in all of this is actually getting things done.  Most lawyers are very good at planning, but implementing not so much.  This in part is due to the time conflict between producing the legal product, and bringing in the next project.  Nonetheless, accomplishing both things is what today’s law practice is all about.

So, getting better productivity – whether it’s in doing your legal work or bringing in the next piece of business – in both areas is critically important in creating efficiencies, effectiveness, and of course profitability.