Everyone has the same 24 hours a day – this includes you, me, and Einstein. But do we really?
Time is relative. People who have a robust support system and an efficient team might find it easier to meet time-bound goals as opposed to people who are multi-hatting and working on several action items a day. For perspective, compare the amount of time it takes a head chef to churn out a dish when they have a team doing the chopping, mincing, and peeling – versus you cooking the same dish in the kitchen from a scratch.
Consider this from the PR point of view. A PR professional is always working, even when they aren’t. They’re either communicating with brands, influencers, clients, journalists, media houses, content teams, and the list goes on. To squeeze so much in the limited span of 24 hours is no easy feat. It needs grit, persistence, motivation, and a sound mental health. A healthy balance between work and life is a huge contributor to a good mental health – see the irony?
With so much to do and not enough time to do it, it becomes absolutely imperative for PR folks to be on top of their time management game. There will always be multiple clients and they all need their deliverables as of yesterday. Everything is urgent, and all clients are important.
How then, as a PR professional, can you accomplish everything without letting it affect your sanity. A few tips that one cannot go wrong with are:
Look at the bigger picture: Always have pre-defined goals and agree on them with the clients before the onset of a project. If the objectives aren’t agreed upon in the very beginning, it can lead to rework and an unhappy client – and nobody wants that.
Break it down: A massive end-goal can stress anyone out. Break it down into smaller milestones. Small wins are super motivating and you get to the finish line before you know it.
Eliminate Repetition: Find out ways to eliminate repetitive tasks even if that means outsourcing or an investment in technology. Repetition is counterproductive and you will not be sorry to have eliminated it.
One thing at a time: It can be overwhelming to have 40 items on your to-do list. Every. Single. Day. Look at focusing on one thing at a time. This ensures that the job at hand is well-done, and there is no time lost in refocusing.
Prioritize! – This needs to be set up as the desktop background for everyone working in the PR industry. Everyone will need things on priority. Everyone’s requirements will always be urgent. It is your prerogative to actually decide what takes precedence over others.
Over-communicate – If you’re a PR professional, chances are you’re a pro at communication. By over communication, I mean keep all parties informed on the progress before they follow-up. Inform them about achieved and delayed milestones before they have to ask. Be proactive, because this can be done at your leisure – follow-ups from multiple people can add up to the stress and isn’t time-effective.
Natasha Gupta, is founder & CEO, Story Brews Communications