Time management in PR — revisited

On an ongoing effort to make the most of the most precious commodity — the time.

I wrote about managing time in PR last year and mentioned how big of a challenge this is. Especially at the beginning of career. Since then, I’ve learnt a few more things about productivity.

#1 Toolbox talk

I stole that one from one of my favourite people in PR, Ella Minty. Ella told me about a toolbox talk, which is a short prep before work, usually in the construction environment, that is about an aspect of health safety. It’s an opportunity to flag the any issues before the day of work.

It can be applied to time management, too. All you need to do is make sure you don’t do any work before taking a look at your to-do list, prioritising tasks and flagging anything that might be not completed way ahead of the deadline.

#2 Make space around you work for you

Spend some time setting up your computer so you make the most of it. Organise your folders on the server. Create folders for relevant bookmarks — if you work on the agency side, each of your clients should have their own folder. Make sure all relevant information is on hand and you know exactly where to look for things. Clean up your desktop regularly.

Learn how to manage your inbox — learn about Outlook’s rules and create folders to avoid clutter. Delete irrelevant messages, file those you need. Try reaching inbox zero before the end of the day.

Bonus tip: change your mouse sensitivity to the higher one, so you can move your cursor quicker. No, seriously — it works.

#3 Eliminate distractions

Whenever an email comes to inbox, natural reaction to that is to click on the notification to read the message. What if we miss something, right? I found that those notifications were my biggest hurdle — they’re incredibly distracting and often slow us down.

When you’ve an important task that needs your full attention, send a note around your team or speak with your manager and get off emails for a block of time. Not seeing your notifications will make your work so much easier. I don’t have to mention putting your phone on a silent mode, do I?

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If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!