PR Pros, Do You Have Time to Read This Blog?
A Google search for “time management tips” yields 313,000,000 results. Time management is an essential skill to possess as a public relations professional, yet it eludes so many practitioners who may find themselves miserably watching as assignments pile up. Most swamped professionals probably don't even have time to Google “time management tips” to help break out of their rut.
In a PR agency, timing is everything. Press deadlines are fixed and hours are billed. Therefore, superior time management skills translate directly to increased efficiency and better results for agencies and their clients.
At this week’s Peer Training session, LPP account reps gathered to compare best practices when it comes to time management. Here's what my peers came up with for managing time in a fast-paced public relations agency:
This one may seem obvious but can be a challenge in its own way. To help prioritize, seek help from managers and be sure to have open communication about realistic expectations and goals. Additionally, you can share a list of your tasks with your superiors so they are aware of your workload and can adjust a task’s priority accordingly.
When it comes to smaller, miscellaneous tasks, set aside a block of time to accomplish them all consecutively, therefore minimizing distraction and contributing to a less cluttered to-do list.
Dovetailing with the tip above, good communication should run seamlessly through a chain of command. A mid-level employee might ask a lower level employee to complete a project by noon, knowing that a higher level manager needs to review it at one o’clock. If all employees are aware of the reasoning behind deadlines, they can more efficiently prioritize and manage their time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for assignments on time — from people above and below you. If no set deadlines exist for a project, create them. This will prevent miscommunications and will aid in prioritization.
Set aside time in your calendar to complete certain tasks that always require your attention, such as reviewing documents or compiling weekly reports. Consider making this time commitment consistent and public, by putting it in your personal calendar or on a company-wide calendar.
Use Your Resources
Ask team members for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or need some extra manpower to complete a project on time. Our PR agency has a Copy Desk, which reviews the writing of any employee who asks. Find similar resources in your own workplace, be it formal, like the Copy Desk, or informal like requesting a review from the office wordsmith.
Take A Break
This might seem counterintuitive if you’ve got a lot on your plate, but getting your blood pumping by going on a walk around the building or getting a drink of water could be just the refresher you need to power through the rest of your workload.
Are there any other time management tips you apply in the workplace?