Posted: October 29, 2014, 3:10 p.m.
by Connor Fox.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in college both inside and outside the classroom, it’s that time management is a critical part of success.
A career in public relations implements many different skill sets for a plethora of jobs on a daily basis, but without a grasp on how to accomplish these everyday tasks, your career can instantly become disorganized and unsuccessful. Managing your time wisely is a process learned through multiple experiences.
It’s simple: If you fail to plan, plan to fail. In a constantly shifting industry, it’s imperative that public relations professionals think ahead and plan in advance. Be proactive and prioritize your time to know exactly when you’re free. It always helps me to stay organized when I write everything down in one place; I couldn’t live without my Moleskine planner or daily to-do lists — they make my world go ’round.
Obviously this a vital part of the communications industry, but also one that can easily become inefficient and waste your time. Both written and verbal communication skills are essential to crafting meaningful conversations with others, as well as press releases, email pitches and other communications. Effective communication is efficient communication. In an industry that does so much talking, listening is just as much a part of success. Be explicitly clear, thorough and deliberate with written work — especially emails, in order to avoid wasting time communicating back and forth.
Learn to say “no.”
Let’s face it: Public relations professionals are typically the ones who love to get overly involved with anything and everything. However, you mustn’t spread yourself too thin and become overwhelmed. Know your availability and decide what you can and cannot do when the time comes to step up to the plate. If you initially join a project and decide you don’t have time, it’s better for you to take a step back early, rather than become dead weight in a group.
Employ your resources.
This industry thrives on the art of networking. So, if you’re well-connected, don’t be afraid to make the most of the people you know — it will save you time. A part of performing well in the industry is turning ideas into action efficiently, and it’s the widespread connections, such as journalists, magazine editors, politicians, celebrities, who have the power to impact your work. Be strategic with your plan, and save some time when possible.
Take a break.
Sometimes you just need to stop what you’re doing and relax for a bit. A mental break is not only a healthy choice, but it also makes you more productive and focused in the end. With loaded work schedules and a large amount of daily stress, it’s easy for us to be consumed in our work and stop thinking about ourselves. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a lunch break, set aside time for you.
Set personal goals.
Don’t lose sight of your career goals; they help you stay determined and give you a vision to work toward. The most rewarding part of your job can be the acknowledgement or praise you receive from co-workers and bosses, but it’s much more gratifying to know that you’ve grown and learned something new. Create daily, weekly and monthly goals for yourself and meet them with a successful time management strategy.