Our team headed to the South Coast to immerse themselves in all things search marketing, business strategy and marketing mindset, for day one of the industry’s flagship SEO conference.
Thursday at BrightonSEO kicked off with a compelling talk by Claire Taylor, offering valuable insights into maintaining a thriving business without it taking over your life. In a digital age where entrepreneurs and business owners are constantly juggling multiple tasks, finding the right balance can be a challenge. Taylor’s session provided practical tips and strategies for achieving just that.
Categorising Your Weekly Tasks
One of the fundamental steps Taylor discussed was categorising your average weekly tasks into three key categories:
- Tasks You HAVE to Do: These are your non-negotiables, the core activities that require your direct attention. Prioritising them each day and week is essential for business success.
- What Can Be Automated: Identify tasks that can be automated using tools and technology, freeing up your time for more critical activities.
- What Can Be Delegated: Delegating tasks to team members or outsourcing certain responsibilities can significantly lighten your workload, allowing you to focus on high-impact activities.
Efficiency Through Batch Tasks and Time Blocking
Taylor stressed the importance of efficiency through batch tasks and time blocking. Batch tasks involve grouping similar activities together, such as handling all your emails at once or dedicating a specific day each month to content creation. This approach minimises context-switching and enhances productivity.
Implementing a habit of time blocking is another powerful technique. For instance, allocate 15 minutes every hour to check and respond to emails or schedule content creation for the first working day of each month. By following these patterns, you create structured work routines that maximise your efficiency.
Embracing Space and Mindfulness
Taylor cautioned against over-scheduling and emphasised the importance of space for thinking and creativity. It’s essential to avoid packing your schedule to the brim, as this can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Instead, allocate 10 to 15 minutes between tasks to declutter your mind and refresh it for the next activity.
Additionally, blocking out specific times during the week when you will be unavailable allows you to focus on hands-on tasks without distractions. This hands-on time is crucial for making meaningful progress on projects that require your undivided attention.
BrightonSEO’s second day continued with an enlightening session by Giulia Panozzo, delving into the intriguing topic of overcoming negativity bias for positive growth. Panozzo explored the workings of the human brain, which often leans towards negativity, and provided practical strategies to counteract this bias and foster a more positive and growth-oriented mindset.
Understanding the Brain’s Negativity Bias
Panozzo began by highlighting the brain’s natural tendency to lead with negativity. She explained that functional asymmetries within the brain make it more stimulated during negative scenarios. This cognitive bias is not limited to our thought processes but extends to our behaviours, including online engagement. Negative headlines, for instance, tend to gain an additional 30% click-through rate compared to positive ones.
Moreover, Panozzo discussed the prevalence of negativity bias in reviews, revealing that negative reviews account for a significant 46%, while positive reviews make up only 27%. Interestingly, she pointed out that as individuals age or climb the corporate hierarchy, they tend to become less negative.
Strategies for Fostering Positivity
To combat negativity bias and promote positivity within business environments, Panozzo proposed several actionable strategies:
Businesses should aim for clear and transparent communication to reduce uncertainty and promote trust within the team. it’s important to encourage the use of positive language within the team. For instance, replace ‘issue’ with ‘opportunity’ and ‘problem’ with ‘solution’ to reframe challenges in a constructive light.
Regularly acknowledging and celebrating achievements, both big and small, to boost morale and maintain a positive atmosphere is a great way to motivate team members. But perhaps even more importantly is that you create an open and supportive environment where team members can provide feedback, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
Everyone is different, however, it is proven that humans can rewire their brains to overcome negativity bias through neuroplasticity. This means we can actively change our thought patterns and reframe negative thinking.
The ABC(DE) Model: Adversity, Beliefs, and Consequences
Panozzo introduced the ABC(DE) model, which consists of Adversity (unpleasant situations), Beliefs (what we think about these situations), and Consequences (how we feel or act as a result). Disputation is a crucial step in this model, involving the examination of evidence, alternatives, implications, and usefulness to challenge and modify negative beliefs.
Embracing Negative Feelings
While the session focused on overcoming negativity bias, Panozzo emphasised that negative feelings can serve a purpose. Rather than ignoring negativity, she encouraged finding ways to adapt to challenges and use negative emotions as a driving force for growth.
However, Panozzo also advised against applying ‘learned optimism’ when the cost of failure is high, such as in cases involving illness or significant financial loss. In such situations, it may be more appropriate to approach challenges with caution.
Here’s what the SEO team member, Jack Fuller had to say about the day:
What a great way kick off September 2023’s BrightonSEO event. It was great to catch up with industry experts – both old and new faces greeted us there. As always, there was a great mix of talks and you could really sense the shift in latest trends with a lot of talks focusing around AI.
I was lucky enough to attend the Heads of SEO roundtable, where we discussed everything from recruitment processes to AI and how each agency or in-house team are using it in their day to day. I came away with a lot of fresh ideas and tools to test.
The weather was incredible for the whole 3 days so it helped that there was a nice ice cream van in Auditorium 1 next to the main stage! What more could you want?