PPC Efficiency Tip: The 3 Ds

efficiency-memeIn the world of PPC management, there seems to be a never-ending list of things you could do to optimize your account(s). However, time is not unlimited so you can only get so much done. Therefore, the best PPC managers are often those who achieve the greatest efficiency.

For this discussion, let’s agree that efficiency refers to getting the most tasks done during a set (and limited) amount of time. Holding expertise and strategy behind the tasks equal, the winner is he/she who gets the most done.

I’m naturally competitive so winning motivates me. I’m also a control freak, so am constantly striving to increase my organization and efficiency. Lately I have been reading “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen. He has a lot of great ideas, but today I’ll focus on just one concept: the 3 Ds.

The 3 Ds

This can apply to your email inbox, your to-do list, or whatever you use to aggregate/organize the work that you need to get done. This is a process for taking all those ideas and things bouncing around your head and translating it into a list that you can begin working on. So, what are the 3 Ds and how do they work? Let’s get into it.

1. Do It

As you review your inbox/task list/whatever ask yourself “Can I accomplish this in under 2 minutes?” If the answer is yes, do it! I can’t even count the number of times I’ve let a task or email hang over my head when I only needed to take the 90 seconds and do whatever was required. This gets the task off your plate and allows you to move on, but more importantly it energizes you. Accomplishment of even small tasks reduces the mental burden and the sense of accomplishment gets you excited.

Now what about tasks that will take more than 2 minutes?

2. Delegate It

Ask yourself if you are REALLY the person who HAS to do this. Many times you can delegate to someone else, whether that’s a junior team member, a personal assistant, etc. If delegation is possible, attach the appropriate instruction and send to the person who will accomplish the task. You might also write down a note to follow up with the individual later, but that’s up to you and your personal preference. This also applies to automation. You can delegate to a software platform like Acquisio or an AdWords script. The key is that you don’t have to do it and once delegate you don’t have to worry about it any more.

As a control freak I struggle to delegate. I know I could do it faster and better (that’s what I tell myself at least) so why wouldn’t I? Simple. My time is better spent on other high-value tasks. The leverage I gain by putting my efforts into the highest value tasks pays dividends. Try it yourself. Trust me.

3. Defer It

Don’t confuse my use of the word defer with procrastination. You’re not putting it off, you’re putting it on a list so that you can get it off your mind. These tasks are those that you must personally accomplish and take more than 2 minutes. They are likely the most important tasks you have in front of you. There are two ways to defer:

  • Calendar – If the task has a set due date, put it on the calendar. Then, discipline yourself to accomplish it on that day. If you find yourself moving tasks back, then they shouldn’t have been calendared in the first place. Which brings us to the second deferring strategy.
  • Next Actions – This is basically your to-do list, but with a twist. You only put items on this list that are clearly explained. For example, you wouldn’t put a task like “Analyze position & bids” on this list. You want to take it from abstract to actionable, so after you give it some thought you might have a task like “Find all keywords in call-only campaigns with position > 2.5 and increase bids by 20%”.

Taking the time to break down your tasks into thought-through and well-defined next actions allows you to accomplish far more in the same amount of time. Yes, you spend some time defining the task, but you do all that processing in one batch and then flip the switch to GSD-mode and crank through those action items. I’m finding success and would love to hear how it goes for you. Just comment below.