By: Donald Smith
On the first day of my public relations communication class this semester my professor said our time management ability would be the make-it-or-break-it factor, meaning how well we can manage our time would determine whether or not we would pass the class. She
was not lying in the slightest.
In the classroom setting there are a multitude of assignments due on a weekly basis. A brief breakdown would be presentation due Monday, portfolio assignment due Tuesday, weekly blog due on Thursday and tweeting at least once a day. It does not seem bad when it is by itself, but along with those assignment come assignments from other classes as well. Also, because these assignments are for in-class clients, quality cannot be squandered.
In a previous blog I told you all I am in an internship as well this semester. Well, the in-class experience translates closely to the professional world. In the professional world you will be having to juggle multiple clients with multiple projects most if not all the time. In my internship my daily schedule is comprised of reporting on how effective the organization’s social media channels are, posting to all pages the organization has on Facebook, monitoring of multiple Twitter feeds, searching for stories to be shared, as well as leaving the office and doing live coverage of events held by the organization. The kicker is that I am allowed 15 hours a week. So, time management has become my best friend this semester.
My professor and I are not the first to recognize this. Ashley Warren from MMI in an article about time management said, “If there is one thing I have learned working in public relations agency work, is that time management is an essential skill if you want to be successful. In the article she also states that one account executive could work with up to 30 clients, all deserving the same amount of attention and consideration.
So, if you want to work in the public relations industry, start being best friends with time management. Also, here are some tips from Cision:
Not all the tasks given are treated equally. Create an ordered list of tasks you need to complete with the most important at the top and least, but still pertinent, important at the bottom. This way there will always be a starting point.
- Communicate as you delegate
Stay on top of communicating with the person helping you so all tasks get done on time. Never give out a task and not talk till the deadline.
- No Procrastination
No one works better under pressure. Start tasks early and use “down-time” in order to get ahead of other tasks.
- Don’t say how busy you are
Everyone is busy. Instead of telling people how busy you are, fix it.
- Clean up your inbox
Take 30 minutes at the end of the day to clean out your inbox. This will save time and there is not better feeling than opening an empty inbox in the morning.
- Make a to-do list
This point is similar to the first, but the to-do list will be a further broken down version of your prioritized list. By breaking down all tasks it will give you a better idea of how much work needs to be done.