You’ve just sat down at your desk with your cup of coffee. It’s 9:00 AM (closer to 8 if you’re an early bird, like me.) You’re getting ready to tackle your day. As a content marketer, this could mean you’re getting ready to dive into that content audit you were wrapping up last night or you might be preparing the list of questions you’ll be asking at that upcoming Persona workshop.

In reality, your day is probably looming over you in terms of how much you need to get done because content is an ever-present need in today’s world. Which is exactly why you should approach the morning in a way that sets you up for success – rather than with your head in your hands wondering how you’re going to complete everything before the end of the week.

1. Listen In.

Take the first bit of your morning to listen to the various audiences you might be developing pieces of content for. What happened overnight? What problems arose that you can address? Social listening tools are an effective way to do this. You can segment different conversations out to get a feel for what went on since the last time you signed on.

You might see something that sparks an idea, or see an issue you can help solve. Say you spot someone who is at a loss as to whether or not he/she qualifies for special enrollment when it comes to insurance. Share a visual you helped develop that outlines the different qualifiers. And voila – you have a lead.

2. Read Up On The Complainers. 

I know – this sounds like a negative way to kick off the day. But complaints are exactly what a great content strategy stems from. You’re trying to solve the pain points of your various personas or audiences. The more tuned in you are to the issues or difficulties they may have on a day-to-day basis, the more likely you are to deliver content that helps direct them to the solution that works for them.

So, go ahead – read those negative Facebook posts and blog comments. You just might learn something.

3. Brush Up On The Trends. 

It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of your everyday tasks as a content marketer – which makes it pretty hard to stay on top of the content marketing trends you should be capitalizing on. The quiet time in the morning is the perfect opportunity to take a beat and read through some of your favorite blogs or publications.

It could inspire you to solve a tough client problem you’ve been stumped by. Or give you a completely new approach to an on-going content project you felt was getting a bit stale. It’s worth it – I promise.

4. Work On You. 

Set aside 15-20 minutes early in the morning to work on your personal brand. As a content marketer it’s pretty important to build this out, as it helps prove that you know how to market for yourself as well as others.

Completed a big project you’re proud of? Add it to your portfolio. Pumped about a new reporting tool you’re getting ready to use? Tweet about it. Get some you time in so that you can keep cultivating a following of your own.

5. Prioritize. 

Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to get ready to tackle your day. Set up your to-do list in order of priority. As a content marketer, you could be working on any number of things, from blogs to website content to infographics. It can be tough to know exactly what you need to address first. By laying out your priorities, you’ll know exactly what to approach first.

So, tomorrow morning, remember to take a breath and try to keep these things in mind. They’ll get you centered and ready to take on the day – and your content.