A lack of work-life balance is one of the top sources of stress today for digital marketers.
The struggle is real in our mobile-first digital world.
The lines between professional output and personal input have forever been blurred because of the ubiquity of smartphones and today’s 24/7 on-demand work culture.
Where does the digital marketer’s day start and stop for the search and social marketing community?
Whether you’re a social media strategist, search marketer, data scientist, PPC manager, or in-house marketing team, you can probably relate.
The challenges of managing productivity, creativity, and strategy planning creep up on us daily.
Check if this is you:
- I switch between multiple social media profiles hourly
- I check on personal Facebook status updates more than 5x a day
- I get push notifications from my smartphone from at least three social media profiles
- I respond to emails from multiple devices every waking moment
- I manage multiple marketing campaigns using both mobile and desktop apps
- I skip lunch to catch up on social media updates and notifications
- I take my mobile device to the bathroom “just in case.”
- I refresh email more than three times per hour
- I stop in the middle of what I’m doing to answer an email or read a social media notification
- I scroll Twitter whenever I have a free minute or two
- I bring my smartphone to all meetings and keep it facing up so I can see the screen
- I answer all smartphone calls, no matter who I’m with or what I’m doing
- I have multiple chat platforms open not to miss out
- I read emails and respond to text messages while on a conference call
- I create Snapchat or Instagram stories daily
- I miss personal commitments to “catch up on work.”
- I answer questions without fully paying attention to what you said because I was reading an “important message”
- I stop what I’m working on to read a push notification
- I work on multiple things at once
- I underestimate the amount of time something will take
- I hold my breath while reading stressful messages
- I have more than 10,000 unread emails in my inbox
Did you check more than half of these scenarios? If so, you’ll be happy to know there’s an app for that.
Are We Digitally Doomed?
If you’ve chosen digital marketing as your career, it can sometimes feel like you’re doomed. You get a double dose of social media and smartphone exposure.
Today’s average consumer spends about five hours a day on their smartphone. That puts digital marketers average mobile radiation pushing six or seven hours a day.
You are targeting, retargeting, and the ones being targeted. You’re always holding a device, wearing a device, or looking at a device.
The faster we go, the more we do. But why does it seem the more we do, the less we get done?
Also the less we seem to have left over at the end of the day for what is most important to friends, family, and downtime.
Multitasking and productivity are hitting a wall, and the results are not adding up in anyone’s favor.
While some might brag about being expert multi-tasking digital do-ers, the reality is this: studies show our brains function best when fresh, calm, and focused on one thing at a time.
We’re Literally Addicted to Technology
Smartphone addiction is an actual condition called nomophobia. It means we literally can’t live without our phone in hand or in sight without breaking into a cold sweat.
It’s no coincidence or by chance. It’s by design.
Brain hacking is an intentional strategy orchestrated by Silicon Valley.
The tech giants behind the alluring apps we can’t live without are hiring developers to study the neuroscience behind what triggers us to become obsessed with our apps.
In a recent “60 Minutes” interview, a former Google product manager shared how Silicon Valley is engineering your phone, apps and social media to get you hooked.
Most of us have no idea how much time we spend on our smartphones since it practically entered into human science as a new body part.
Unfortunately, the time we do spend on our devices ends up being in the wrong place for the wrong reason.
So what are the options or app-tions?
Ironically those smartphones that bring us pain and distraction can also reconnect us by bringing insta-inspiration, and transformation.
Whether you have an Android or iPhone, most of these apps can take your brain on a mini-vacay so you can keep your digital marketing sanity.
Here are the 10 best apps for digital marketing wellness.
With the help of a “coach,” Onward helps you realize how much screen time you spend each day by category.
This app then guides you with the aid of artificial intelligence to guide you in limiting the additional screen time while still achieving your same goal.
Using neuroscience and artificial intelligence, the Space app helps us combat social media and smartphone addiction by adding space between you and your social media apps.
The same types of developers app developers are using to get us hooked in are also reverse engineering the brain.
BuzzFeed named Buddhify the number one app to ease anxiety, and I agree.
Buddhify comes with a beautiful user interface packed with more than 80 meditations including a track called “Work Break.”
One of my favorites in that category is “Ready.” It’s a perfect guided meditation for those times when you need to be at your best (e.g., when you’re getting ready for a public speaking event such as a conference, presentation or meeting).
In just eight minutes you can go from frazzled and scattered to calm, balanced, present, and laser sharp.
Other tracks for the digital marketer in mind include: Being Online, Waking up, Going to Sleep, and Feeling Stressed.
Jiyo is a well-being social network and powerful app by Deepak Chopra and co-founder Poonach Machaiah.
This app uses artificial intelligence to make your well being personalized and give you tips on what you need most.
Let’s say you get off a red-eye. Jiyo can tell you have traveled many time zones and might assign you a certain stretch to help offset a lack of sleep. It’s designed to help you be your best selfie – or, as Jiyo calls it, wellfie.
Jiyo works through an app that analyzes your data such as movement and sleep. It then assigns you a task each day and offers curated content on nutrition, sleep, and wellness.
Calm is a book, blog, and an app ready to do just that: calm you down.
Bubbling brooks, campfire sparks, and chirping birds come to the sensory rescue so you can reset the brain.
In case you need some coaching with healthy breathing, calm gives you a visual to follow.
I’ve had a Fitbit since the first one came out in 2007.
Today Fitbit is not just a product but part of the wearable movement and on of the devices that sync with Jiyo.
Digital marketers are notorious for sitting in front of the computer all day. Having a Fitbit or the Apple Watch can help remind you to move more.
When I go to a conference or on a business trip I have all the best intentions of working out at the hotel gym. Inevitably work life gets in the way.
Using the Yogaglo app, you can find a class that is as short as 5 minutes, any level, any style yoga or meditation – no mat required.
Just five minutes is better than nothing when trying to get your groove back for an early morning marketing workshop in Vegas! Deep breathing exercises help, trust me.
What if your went to check your inbox and heard: “I’m sorry the inbox you are trying to reach is currently not available. Please try again in about an hour.”
Digital marketing wellness starts with inbox sanity.
The InBoxPause app is by the same team who brought us Boomerang. Check it out, and your inbox will start giving you the space and time you’ve been asking for.
For in-house emails, I checked out of email hell and text message mania about three years ago thanks to Slack.
Setting up teams on Slack helps you eliminate unnecessary digital marketing communication, declutter your mind, and regain creativity and focus.
If you have the latest Apple Watch, then you have the new app designed to be your coach.
This healthful app makes sure you are not holding your breath while reading emails.
The mindful app assists with breathing, meditation, and stress reduction.
Coming up with novel ideas, brilliant strategies, and off-the-charts campaigns typically doesn’t happen in the middle of chaos. Our digital lives are fixated on Google calendars, running from one meeting or Skype call to the next, and thinking about the next tweet we’re writing or responding to.
Studies show that silence and clearing of the mind increase our chances of coming up with big ideas and bursts of inspiration and motivation.
How do you measure the ROI on adding these apps to your mobile device portfolio? Digital marketers can rejoice at the fact most of the apps come with analytics and reports to help you benchmark your progress and stay on a balanced track.
The digital marketing world keeps getting complicated, as professionals, we can use old school techniques to reduce stress with an intentional swipe and scroll to the right digital marketing wellness app.
Featured Image: Unsplash
Screenshots taken by Lisa Buyer, July 2017