Whether you are an intern or senior-level, mastering the art of multitasking is essential in PR. While you might consider yourself an expert at checking your social media updates on your computer, texting a friend back and watching your favorite TV show all at the same time, multitasking in the business world is a little different.

Here are five tips to help you stay organized through all the madness and still get your work done efficiently:

Write down everything!

I am constantly making lists of projects that need to be done and writing down when I start and end a project. This makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve done and how long it took you – something that is important if you work in a PR agency as we have to bill our time to the clients. It is a lot easier to remember when you did yesterday (or even that morning!) if you have your time and projects written down.

Also, always take notes when you get a project so you do it correctly the first time or in a meeting so you don’t forget something important your boss might say. Even though we try to remember everything, things can easily slip through the cracks when there are a million different things you are thinking about at once.

Prioritize projects

When you are getting an email every few minutes and you have several people asking you to do countless projects it can be overwhelming. Do you stop what you are doing now or wait to do the other projects once you finish the task you are on?

Learning to prioritize projects will help you stay organized and not get consumed with just staring at all the work on your list (guilty!). However, knowing the priority of projects is something that can take time to figure out. At the beginning, ask your supervisor to help you prioritize your projects until you figure out how to do it yourself.

Hard vs. soft deadlines

One way to help you prioritize the projects on your plate is to learn which ones are hard deadlines and which ones are soft. A hard deadline means the project has to be done by that time and, basically, you cannot miss it! Soft deadlines, on the other hand, don’t necessarily need to be done by that exact time. Usually the project has a certain time on it so your boss can have time to review it before it is actually due to the client/media/whoever it is going to.

So if you have a lot of projects with the same deadline, it is perfectly fine to ask if it’s a hard or soft deadline. If it is a soft deadline, you can ask if they can push it to later that day or the next morning. Don’t be afraid to ask for extensions. It’s better to let the team know that you don’t have capacity and may need more time than to miss the deadline with no warning.

Learn how to judge your time

When you are planning your day with the projects you have to do, make sure at the beginning of your PR career to allow extra time to complete projects. When you are beginning, you sometimes are unsure of how long certain projects will take you to do. This will change as you learn how fast you work and as you get more comfortable doing the projects.

For example, I am a very fast worker. Projects that can take others two hours to do may only take me an hour and a half. Also, I’ve learned that coverage scans will usually take me a little longer to do than updating a media list, depending on the amount of coverage gained of course. Learning this will help you utilize your time better and make you a more efficient worker.

Keep your email organized

You would be surprised how much time can be wasted searching through your emails. We get so many emails each day that it can build up very quickly. Therefore, make sure to keep your inbox organized using folders and sometimes sub-folders for your teams or projects. I move the emails over whenever I have completed the project. Until then, it stays in my inbox as a reminder that I still need to do it. Also, delete emails that you don’t need, such as automatic updates from your company’s intranet system.

Trust me! This will save you so much time and grief. You will be able to easily go back and find that specific email versus just scrolling and scrolling for minutes looking for something that was sent to you last week.

The world of PR is sometimes very chaotic and it really is important to keep yourself organized so you are able to multitask and get items checked off your to-do list. These tips can be applied every day to your work habits to help you become a more efficient worker. They have definitely helped me speed up my work process, stay on top of my workload and really excel at what I do.

{Guest post by Jennifer Powell.}

xo rachel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *