As an award-winning public relations agency, Gabriel Marketing Group (GMG) knows that time is key, and without infinite time we need to be able to juggle multiple projects, clients and work without missing a beat.
So, how do you manage six different accounts with multiple deadlines, press releases (that aren’t going to write themselves) and an inbox which overflows hourly? With great time management, of course. From the moment you step foot in the office, you need to make a plan and stick to it. What feels better than crossing off your entire to-do list?
Start Optimizing Your Day with These Four Productivity Hacks!
Schedule and Prioritize Your Tasks
Knocking out some quick tasks in the morning is hindering–not increasing–your productivity. While maximum productivity should be the end goal, you need to have a plan for success. Each morning, identify three or four tasks that are most important for the day, and complete those first. Don’t try to knock out the small projects first, as you can put off crucial tasks and get yourself behind.
Once you’ve finished these top-priority tasks, you can move on to smaller, less critical tasks or even make headway on next week’s work. What I like to do is finish pitching, writing and social media tasks first thing in the morning, which allows me to spend my remaining time researching opportunities and connecting with clients.
Take On Only What You Can
One challenge at a new job is learning how to say “no,” and avoid overloading your schedule. Sometimes we take on more than we can handle, and our work suffers as a result. While it’s always nice to help fellow colleagues and get comfortable doing different tasks, you don’t always need to take on that extra assignment. The worst thing you can do is stretch yourself too thin, which can lead to other work complications, not to mention health issues.
Instead, if someone asks for your help or you offer to chip in, let them know that you have your personal deadlines to make first. Don’t let your client work fall behind while attempting to be helpful.
Long Live Break Time
Time is critical, but so is your sanity. Working day in and day out won’t help you be more productive. If anything, it’ll make you more groggy, angry and probably hate your job. It’s important to always enjoy the work you’re doing – or why do it in the first place? So, take those much-needed breaks and always schedule some time to clear your head. Whether you take a ten-minute walk every day at lunch, or decompress for five minutes after each task, you need to reset.
Working for long spells at a time or rushing from task to task actually lowers motivation and focus, resulting in wasteful activities (like browsing the web) rather than completing the project at hand. Allowing downtime between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for your brain.
Being organized can save tons of time. Now, you don’t need a color system for every one of your clients (like I do) but having some order to your days can go a long way. Try these tips:
- Keep your desk clear of clutter–this way you aren’t distracted by the little things around you and can access what you need as the need arises.
- Keep a different spiral notebook or folder for each client–I still prefer writing notes from weekly client calls, as a computer can be distracting. Therefore, I make sure each client has their designated journal or folder on my computer so work is easily searchable and in a central location.
- Clean up your inbox! Just like having different spirals, inboxes can be divided by clients. Along with my color-coded emails (somewhat OCD, I’ll admit) I break up emails by client. This way I can go to the folder and simply search for an email. It saves me time and sanity.
Optimizing and decluttering your space helps declutter your mind–and when you feel more organized you’ll feel less stressed!
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Take this month to start a fresh management routine and learn new ways to better use your time with the above tips.
Do you think you could add to these insights? Are you trying to grow your PR skills? GMG, one of the D.C. area’s best places to work, is hiring! Check out our job listings and see if you have what it takes to join a top provider of disruptive PR services.