Something I seem to struggle with is the ability to clock out at 5:30. No matter how hard I try more often than not 5:30 comes and goes just like 6:30 and sometimes even 9:30. I know I am not alone when I say public relations is not a 9-5 job. However, overtime has actually been linked to a 60% higher risk of heart problems. So maybe it wouldn’t be a bad thing to figure out how to get out with enough time to exercise.
Here are a few things I am going to start/already am doing with some serious effort:
- Doing my most important task first. One of the things I love about PR is that your day can change in the blink of an eye. But from now on, the night before I am going to decide the most important project for the next day. This will save time spent mulling over my to-do list and may boost my productivity for the rest of the day because I will feel accomplished.
- Prepare for meetings. A co-worker (you know who you are if you actually read the post instead of just the headline) sets reminders on her calendar to prepare for meetings. Even though I create agendas and read materials beforehand its time that I start thinking about what I am going to say and contribute so I am not wasting my client or team’s time.
- Avoiding Chatty Kathy. I like the people I work with, a lot. We tell fun stories and have inside jokes because when you are with people for 40+ hours a week, you have to find something to do other than work. But, I have learned that a lot of my day goes to those laugh breaks we take. In an effort to be more productive I now set times where my co-worker (same person here) and I “go dark.” Both of us get more work done quicker and its really working out great.
- Stay organized. Somewhere between high school and three years of working I lost my organization skills. My desk and filing system make me nauseous. I need to start keeping “hot” folders—the things I reference most on my desk. Also I should try to have one spiral notebook per client…it’s amazing how easy it is to refer back to notes when you know exactly where it is.
- Figuring out where my time is going. (Right now, it’s looking for apartments UGH NYC apartment hunting is so stressful) In a perfect world doctor’s offices would open at 7:00 and close at midnight. Sometimes you just have to make those personal calls to the Credit Card Company and what not. I found that if I do it all at once, instead of sporadically I am not distracting myself over and over again. For example, my doctor’s office opens at 9:00 I use the time from 9:00-9:30 to do what I need to do and then I am done. It worked out really nicely the other day.
- Planning to leave early. Don’t laugh. Really stop it. Here’s the thing, when you have a deadline, you’re less likely to waste time. I am not saying I should be leaving at 4:30. But setting a goal to leave 30 minutes sooner than I do now, could potentially give me something to strive to.