The usual time my alarm goes off after 3-consecutive alarms were set before it. Usually, I do countdowns before I actually get up and prepare for an hour-long jog around the village. This is my personal me-time to meditate and unwind while listening to my favourite podcasts. There are days where a hectic week won’t allow me for a run so there are times I bust a quick workout at home instead. Either way, it’s always good to start the day exercising, as endorphins help a lot in setting my mood for the day.
I never skip breakfast to help me get through the morning. Especially for big days, where I need to prepare for a presentation, breakfasts - and most especially coffee - provide enough physical energy to help me stay pumped and focused every morning. After this, I take a quick shower to freshen up and read at least a chapter in my book for the month so I can transition myself and my mind to work mode.
To be honest, the planner has never been a good friend of mine. I always find it too time-consuming to customize. Surprisingly, sticky notes work! In my work as a brand custodian, what’s really interesting is there’s never a structure in my everyday. So in my notes, you can only find 2 columns: urgent and important. I always track my deliverables on the basis of urgency and importance. In that way, I could be able to make use of my time more efficiently especially in getting the big-ticket items crossed out. At this time, I look at my Outlook calendar to make a mental map of my meetings for the day and prioritize my to-dos in between.
My favourite part of the day is to check my brands’ month-to-date sales to gauge how they’re performing for the month. While I only do this weekly to have a good grasp of skewing and progress, it’s non-negotiable for me to check on this for me to pinpoint any impending challenges on demand, supply, or conversion issues. On top of the latest estimates, I also look at brand health tracking and retail audit data for me to have a holistic judgment and perspective of my brands’ performance. This is so I can eventually craft data-driven short and long-term solutions to solve any business problems. I also make use of this time to respond to unanswered emails from the previous day, especially those that were sent beyond cutoff.
Also known as the sweet spot for agency meetings and webinars. I usually vacate this time to make alignment meetings with our partner agencies. Two things I particularly like about my role, as a brand marketer, are autonomy and cross-functionality. It is at this time I could be able to talk to our partners in different fields - media, creatives, brand operations, you name it - to plan, craft, and execute strategic action plans for the balance year. At the end of the day, it is our duty to be the “project managers” of our brands, and these alignment meetings are the perfect avenue in ensuring return on investment (to manage our monthly spending) and synergy (to build equity) from all of our marketing efforts. Webinars were also set around this time and they’re a perfect avenue for me to learn more about the latest category trends, market movement, and changes in consumer behaviour. There’s also an internal learning module and classes that the company provides for free. I usually frequent the site to upskill when I have the luxury of time.
This is a hard stop for all work-related things that I’m doing. Working from home, I made it a point to respect my lunchtime as a form of rest and to make a mental illusion that there’s still a difference between my home and my workspace. Oftentimes, failing to distinguish boundaries between the two can blur one’s sense of time and, in turn, can make you bite off more work than you can chew. So always respect your lunchtime!
I also maximize this time to quickly unplug and defuse for a bit by talking and catching up with my colleagues. Playing quick mobile games also helps a lot in clearing my thoughts, de-stressing, and being more present.
After a refreshing lunch break, I head to start my afternoon with small tasks to pick up my pace and keep the ball rolling. These are usually admin tasks wherein I have to track/approve a budget in the online monitoring system, process product requests for event sponsorships, and monitor our aging stocks. I also make use of this time to declutter by updating my personal brand trackers and file organizers.
This is my window hours to talk to our partners from Global Innovations, especially in confirming agreements, identifying launch setbacks, and aligning on key next steps for our new product review presentation. I also utilize this time to prepare for decks and data generation should there be any pitch for the upcoming weeks. Otherwise, I prepare ahead for my brand’s monthly forecasts and Total Category omnibus tasks, where I spearhead new product reviews, monthly performance reports, and retail audits.
An afternoon break is needed for an afternoon slump! Around this time, I do a bit of a working break, especially on a day with jam-packed schedules. Sometimes I drink some water, eat fruits, or munch on my fave chips to recharge, while simultaneously scrolling through my socials to check any trending topics and conduct social listening for my brands.
At this time, I normally have my urgent and important tasks done. But if there were any follow-ups, I tend to accomplish them all the same. Prioritizing my emails/to-dos for tomorrow is next. This is my transition to wrap things up for the day. Typically, I fill out my action register, which is a document that includes all of my project updates and timelines for both of my brands, to inform and align my immediate superior should there be any line item for flagging.
Finally, end of the day! To cap it off, I usually have a quick chat with my close work friends/colleagues. I always find it therapeutic to talk to them, sharing corporate memes and overall experiences in the day. This is my simple way to unplug and slowly transition to home-time… and eventually, rest time so I can power through again the next day.