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Make a New Plan, Stan: The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Day as a Digital Agency Owner

Sick of wasting time and getting bogged down in daily tasks? Learn how to boost productivity by organizing your day as a digital agency owner in this blog.

Abby Wood

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Business Development

Abby Wood

Abby Wood

The Content Lab

Originally from Cambridge, England, Abby now lives in Ireland with her partner Nick and their border collie Bosco. A content strategist and copywriter for over 12 years, she's founder of The Content Lab (a white label content agency) and Content Goodies (providing white label content templates for agencies). She's also co-founder of Ireland Website Design (a full service eCommerce agency) and LearnRight (a white label LMS solution).

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Oh, the startling, abrasive sound of the morning alarm clock.

It can only mean one thing.

Time to tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour yourself a cup of ambition, and yawn and stretch and try to come to life. (Thank you Dolly Parton for giving the ordeal of getting up in the morning a fun tune to go along with it.)

Before you know it, it’s time to start work, and your overflowing inbox mixed with your mounting to-do list is enough to make your eyes turn into cartoon swirls.

But the daily grind doesn’t always have to feel like such an uphill battle.

Establishing and maintaining a clear structure for your day (as best you can, at least) is a surefire way to get on top of things – and, ideally, stay on top of it all day long!

Why is it so important for digital agencies to get and stay organized?

Somedays, I feel like Jim Carrey in that scene in Bruce Almighty where he’s violently typing, plowing through emails at a superhuman pace, only to stop and realize he still has hundreds of thousands of emails to get back to.

Jim Carrey furiously typing on a keyboard

Sure, the nature of running your own digital agency is that you’ve got to be able to navigate the unexpected and respond to the needs of your clients and employees as they come in.

But establishing an organized system and routine that works for you will make you so much better equipped to deal with whatever may crop up throughout the day.

If you typically tend to run a little on the chaotic side, getting organized can feel like a bit of an abstract concept – like something that only a particular type of person can accomplish.

You know, in theory, that it’ll boost your productivity as an agency owner and of your digital agency as a whole. But how, exactly?

  • Reduce stress, which I’m sure we could all do with
  • Free up your time from menial jobs to focus on important tasks
  • Afford you the headspace to tap into your creativity
  • Boost company morale and improves your overall work culture
  • Lower the risk of burnout and, therefore, the number of sick days you’ll take
  • Put an end to the vicious cycle that is your ever-expanding to-do list
  • Allow you to deliver client work on time, without any avoidable hiccups

Listen, it’s fair to say that becoming an organized person will always come a little more naturally to some people than others. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Especially with the many wonderful benefits it can offer you on a personal and professional level, there’s never been a better time to start making those changes that’ll calm down and smooth out your day.

Let’s look at my top tips on how I like to organize my day to avoid unnecessary headaches and, overall, have a more enjoyable day!

How to stay organized – 6 simple tips for digital agency owners

As digital agency owners, I think all of us would do just about anything to be more productive, stay on schedule, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

But don’t worry! I’m not about to tell you that you need to get up at 4 a.m., go for a cold plunge, drink raw eggs mixed with a mysterious herb, and hang upside down from your door frame like a bat for 30 minutes before you start your work day. (But if you do that already, more power to you!)

Dall·e 2023 11 14 05.48.51 A Cartoonish, Single Scene Depiction Of A Website Development Agency Owner's Morning Routine, Combining Humor And Exaggeration. The Quirky Middle Aged
Sorry, Abby — When I read that description, I had to see what Dall-e could do with it. 😅 — Kyle

There are a few simple steps you can implement into your existing workflow, or you can totally overhaul it – whatever you need to do.

Whether you work remotely, in the office, or a hybrid model, you can establish a system that works for you wherever you are.

1. Commit to a morning routine

Ok, you’re a chronic snooze-hitter and have already tried and failed at changing your ways – but stay with me.

It’s not just about getting up earlier. It’s about creating a routine that you actually look forward to so that it’s easier to get out of bed to begin with.

I think it’s a great idea to keep your phone out of bed as a general rule. If you don’t already have one, get an old-school alarm clock and leave it across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off.

Then, before you do anything else – rehydrate.

After that, it’s kind of up to you what you want to do. You can go for a walk, read, meditate, journal, do some stretches, or head straight to the kitchen to perform the ritual of making that first cup of coffee.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy so you can easily commit to it long-term and always feel positive about a productive day ahead!

2. Prioritize tasks by importance

As a digital agency owner, your calendar is your best friend.

Having a clear focus is essential to having a productive day.

Sometimes, you get so caught up in the day-to-day and the small stuff that it’s already 5 p.m. before you even get around to the most pressing issues of the day.

That’s why prioritizing tasks and outlining the order you’ll complete them in is so important. Whatever else you manage to get done in the day is a bonus!

But, it’s also key to bear in mind the issue of time management when creating a daily schedule for yourself.

Personally, I like to set myself THREE things to complete each day. Once completed, I know my day has been a success. Anything else I complete I put down as happy bonuses. 

Allocate a certain block of time to each task and aim to complete them within that time so you don’t wind up hyperfocusing on one task for the entire day.

3. Keep track of everything

Each day is different in the digital agency world.

Keeping track of things as they come in is essential so that nothing falls through the cracks.

There are tons of different tools and technologies you can use as a digital agency owner to help with organization:

  • Project management software: Tools like Asana, Trello, or Basecamp can help you manage projects, assign tasks, and keep your team on the same page
  • Calendar apps: Digital calendars like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook are super handy for scheduling meetings, setting deadlines, and receiving reminders
  • Time tracking apps: Monitor the time you spend on different tasks using apps like Toggl, Harvest, or Teamwork to gain insights into your productivity
  • Communication tools: Streamline communication within your team and with clients using Slack, Microsoft Teams, or similar tools
A screenshot of the Todoist dashboard
The Todoist dashboard is a fantastic interface!

Even with all the technology available, I still like to keep a notepad next to me at all times so I can quickly jot down any thoughts, messages, or any other important information that comes my way.

4. Don’t be afraid to delegate and outsource tasks

When you’ve set up your own business, sometimes it can be a little difficult to let go of things.

I totally understand. But, when you’re responsible for menial tasks that could easily be passed onto a staff member or assistant, you stand in the way of your own growth.

Not only are you wasting time on simple tasks that don’t need your expertise to complete, but you’re opening yourself up to potential errors by tending to too many tasks at once, and losing your clear focus.

If you’ve got a team, you hired them for a reason. You can trust them to look after certain tasks. Just keep communication open in case they have any questions or issues.

Cleanshot 2023 11 14 At 05.32.42
Did you know? The Admin Bar has a dedicated Job Board for outsourcing work!

In terms of outsourcing, you can always hire external professionals to take care of items like social media marketing and other digital marketing services so you can focus on other important aspects of your business and its growth.

5. Learn to say no and set boundaries

Learning to say no isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but it’s absolutely vital to the success of your agency.

Whether it’s saying no to client work because they’re being unreasonable with their demands or to a meeting at the crack of dawn due to time zone differences – you owe it to yourself to set and respect your boundaries as a professional and as a human being.

When you’re a busy digital agency owner, these boundaries are the key to realistically keeping your workload on track.

This way, you can ensure you’re consistently delivering on your promises, doing your best work, and avoiding unnecessary mistakes.

Oh, and don’t forget to take breaks too!

6. Make sure to clock off

When you’re responsible for your own livelihood and the livelihoods of your employees, it can be tempting to work late most nights and maybe the odd weekend here and there.

But before you know it, you can end up essentially working around the clock, which is unrealistic for anyone to maintain.

Ultimately, you’re doing yourself and your team a disservice by operating like this – not to mention the impacts it’ll have on your physical and mental health!

Make sure to clock off at the end of every day like any employee would at their job so you can properly switch off for the evening and recharge for the following day.

Of course, there will be days when this simply isn’t realistic, but always try to end your day intentionally, signing off on your work and feeling ready for what tomorrow brings.

How does your agency or digital marketing company stay organized?

Whether you’re an award-winning web design agency or an up-and-coming SEO agency – finding a way to organize your day that works for you as an industry leader is essential to the ongoing success of your business.

There’s one thing all top digital agencies have in common, and that’s a clear, structured workflow that prioritizes productivity and a healthy work-life balance.

How do you structure your day to set yourself up for success?

Why not let us know in The Admin Bar Facebook Group!

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Abby Wood

Abby Wood

The Content Lab

Originally from Cambridge, England, Abby now lives in Ireland with her partner Nick and their border collie Bosco. A content strategist and copywriter for over 12 years, she's founder of The Content Lab (a white label content agency) and Content Goodies (providing white label content templates for agencies). She's also co-founder of Ireland Website Design (a full service eCommerce agency) and LearnRight (a white label LMS solution).

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