If you work in public relations, you know that it takes more than a few espressos to make it through the day. That’s why we’re providing you with some much-needed time-saving tips! media update’s Aisling McCarthy guides you through five tips that will help you keep it together in your already-busy workday.
Some days, it feels like 24 hours is just not enough to get everything done. And when you work in public relations, that is a daily occurance …
That’s why we’ve put together a list of five nifty tips that will help you manage your busy schedules and finally get to the bottom of that ‘To Do’ list. Are you ready to get started?
1. Prioritise your work
The first step to getting through that ‘To Do’ list is to know which tasks are the most important. Without some kind of task hierarchy, you’ll be looking at an overflowing list and not know where to start.
The first tasks you work on should be the big ticket items with the closest deadlines, then you’ve got ones on the back-burner and some for ‘whenever you get a chance’. And on top of all of that, you’ve got social media, which requires around-the-clock attention.
The key to getting through all of these — plus the inevitable urgent work that will force you to drop everything — is to work out how long you’ll need to complete each task. Based on that, plus how important each task is, you can order the items and start tackling them!
2. Don’t procrastinate
Despite what you LinkedIn page might say, no one really works better under pressure. Your best work is done when you take your time, think about what you’re doing and know exactly why you’re doing it.
So instead of procrastinating — and telling everyone how busy you are — get to work! And, if you’ve got the time, get ahead in your work where you can. Unlike other careers, PR is incredibly unpredictable and your ‘To Do’ list could easily be thrown out of the window at a moment’s notice if a poorly-worded tweet or inappropriate comment is posted. If you avoid procrastination, these kind of changes won’t affect your work at all.
3. Make use of scheduling tools
Whether you’re a digital or an analog type of person — you need a calendar. Keep track of what you’re working on and when things are due. Keeping things in a calendar will help you to stay focussed and avoid missing any important tasks.
Also, keep in mind that, thanks to cloud computing, many of these apps will sync to your phone and even your calendar.
4. Cut down on the meetings
While sometimes this may not be up to you, where you can — cut back on the meetings. Analyse the amount of time you spend in meetings every week and determine whether or not those meetings aid in your productivity. If not, it’s time to make a change!
Cutting down on meetings doesn’t mean that you’ll cut down on communication with clients or colleagues — it just means that you have to find ways of communicating quicker! Try calling your clients or popping them an email instead of calling a big meeting.
Cutting out the unnecessary meetings will save everyone time and give you more time to get your work done.
5. Ensure you take regular breaks
With numerous deadlines closing in on you, it can be easy to think that skipping a lunch hour here and there can make you more productive. Bad news — it often makes you even less productive.
The harder you push yourself to get things done, the more likely you are to make (and perhaps not even notice) mistakes. Give yourself a break when you need it. Taking time to get something to eat and drink will not only give you more energy but it will also give your brain a bit of a rest. After some time away from your work, you can approach it with a fresh mind and perspective.
Often, the best way to solve a problem is to step away, clear your mind and approach it at a later stage.
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