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Agency Burnout: How to Avoid Burnout and Maintain Productivity

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The pandemic is forcing us to think differently about how we run our agencies while maintaining our productivity and wellbeing discusses Mike Scott and Azadeh Williams

Agency Burnout: How to Avoid Burnout and Maintain Productivity

Running an agency is hard work. Add the pressures of the pandemic on top, and the chances of burnout and mental wellbeing challenges can become critical.

Nona Digital CEO, Mike Scott, and host of the How to be Moderately Successful podcast speaks with Azadeh Williams, founder and managing partner of AZK Media to discuss how managers and employees can avoid burnout and maintain productivity. 

Mike Scott: Running a business is difficult, staying on the ball takes time. You never stop reading, learning, never stop working. You mentioned you're married with a young family and run an agency - you have a life. How do you do all of this, do you have any habits or routines to help you to perform optimally?

Azadeh Williams: Being a journalist before starting a business was pretty fast-paced. Understanding deadlines and being flexible and adaptable was something I took for granted. An important skill to have when you're running a business is to be an extra diligent person. 

At the moment, I’ve found being an early riser works for me. I wake up at 5 am, and from five to nine, I don't do any emails, social media, I focus on big kahuna tasks. That's when I'm the most productive and  I can get a ton of stuff done in that four-hour sweet spot. 

I've also made sure I move my body every day. Before COVID, it was great I was going to Melbourne, travelling overseas, client meetings, and international meetings, I was always on the go. But with the Zoom world now you need to get your body and mind moving as an executive or as a business owner. 

It's absolutely critical to keep healthy because if you stop if your body stops, your mind will stop, everything will stop. I try to minimise the use of too many time-sucking apps like Slack, WhatsApp, Asana, or Trello alerts. I avoid the overuse of it and on Fridays, we try to keep the day Zoom-free altogether.

We try to alleviate Zoom fatigue, and Fridays is a good time to then maximise our creative, and design thinking and focus on those large projects which need energy and concentration. This boosts us all to work optimally.

Mike Scott: I'm in Australia now, from being in South Africa. I've been here for two years, but most of my team is dispersed all around. But I agree 100%, I train and move every day. 

Talk about it to your team, if you're going for a walk in the morning or if you're in lockdown and you're doing yoga, show your team, not in a way of saying hey look I'm amazing at what I'm doing, but saying hey this is what I'm doing. 

Quick question: we will move to the sort of more rapid-fire ones now, what scares you in business.

Azadeh Williams: Gosh, it's an interesting question because what scared me in business three years ago isn't what scares me today. What scared me three years ago was failing the clients, not being able to deliver what we wanted to deliver. I was scared the client would be unhappy and they would drop us and we would have a hole in our revenue, and those things terrified me.

I'm trying to be fearless, and trying to work towards pre-empting any issues I am aware of and solve those fears and anxieties before they are elevated.

Mike Scott: What content are you currently consuming?

Azadeh Williams: I'm always on LinkedIn, looking at all the latest news wires, and all the latest tech trade publications. I have my favourite LinkedIn influencers and I'm always learning from them. 

Mike Scott: The next question is what is the last book you read cover to cover, but it sounds like you've already answered. It was the Art of Resilience, right?

Azadeh Williams: Yes and I can't stop raving about it.

Mike Scott: What is something you are doing in the next seven days to improve yourself or your craft.

Azadeh Williams: I am taking on mentorship, with some of the leading digital marketers I know to fill in some of my own skills gaps.

Mike Scott: I want to re-emphasise, Azadeh is on this podcast as an expert, which she is. She's taking a mental shift to get better and I want to rehash to the listeners because this is how you get better - you never get complacent. If you want to be a subject matter expert, it means you never stop learning. I love that and I find it humbling and inspiring. Of everything we've spoken about today which is a lot, what is the one thing you would want the listeners to walk away with?

Azadeh Williams: I would love listeners to walk away with a renewed passion for what they do and how they do it.

Find out how you can boost your marketing productivity and efficiency at AZK Media.

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Genres: Storytelling

AZK Media, Tue, 18 May 2021 17:20:29 GMT