Over the past 5 or so years of working in the industry, I have found tactics and methods that have really helped me work more efficiently and stay organized. I absolutely hate procrastinating and don’t work well in chaos. I like to be organized and have the time and space to work. But by being in the PR/Marketing industry, an industry that runs on chaos, I have had to implement very specific practices to try and make sense of my day and organize my tasks. Here are some of my most used tips that I implement everyday!
I have had the same exact to-do list method since my freshman year of college, it has always worked for me and helps me stay organized. I absolutely have to have a planner that’s at least 8×10 (full-size paper) because I can space things out on the paper and it does not look overly crowded. I have used Eccolo Notebooks for the past 5 years because they are cute and functional.
I organize my To-Do list by client or project, which is the header, and then put sub-bullets beneath each with the more granular details. Once I completely finish a task, I cross it off with a pastel highlighter, that way, I can look back to see what I worked on but I also enjoy crossing things off with a lovely pastel pink. See below as an example.
Cookie Partnership (the header)
-Update dashboard with emails (sub-bullets)
-Create Marketing Deck
Once I create my own personal to-dos, I send them out to my team every morning before 10am. Because I work on a bicoastal team, it is extremely important to always know what the entire team is working on to keep lines of communication open! At the end of the day, anything that doesn’t get crossed-off my list, I write down for the next day so I know my immediate next steps when I sit down in the morning. It is extremely helpful!
First off, time batching is a system that helps you focus on a group of similar tasks during a period of time – it aims to help minimize distractions and helps with focus. Time batching is a method I have been using for a while now but honestly can be really hard to manage based on your profession. Because of the nature of the PR/Marketing industry there is always something that can come up and because I work in client relations, I tend to work on other people’s schedules. But by time batching and updating my google calendar to reflect, it helps me know exactly what I need to do during that weird 30 mins in-between calls that can easily become wasted space. For example, on Fridays, I generally only have 4 meetings and they are all done by 11am. These days tend to be my catch-up days however I have started slating in time in the afternoon for things like “work on goals” so I actually hold my self accountable for taking that skillshare class I have been wanting to or listen to a webinar – things that can easily fall off your radar if you don’t allow the space for them. I live and breath in my google calendar – I color code everything in pastel colors so that it is actually nice to look at it 🙂 The below is an example of a google calendar which looks very similar to my own (though I couldn’t share mine as I have sensitive client information).
Find Your Best Work Hours
I took a management class a couple of weeks ago and learned about finding your best work hours and how to maximize efficiency during those hours. The biggest takeaway, match your highest priority work to your most productive hours in the day. Take a step back and look at your day and analyze when you have the highest motivation and focus. You can use this spreadsheet from the author of “The Productivity Project; Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy” to help determine those hours. For me, my most productive hours are generally from 7:30am – 12pm, I tend to dip around 3pm-4pm, pick back up between 4:30pm-8pm and then crash around 9pm. Because of this, I try and utilize my mornings to get to my most prioritized tasks (client calls, finishing briefs, reports, etc.). In the late afternoon, I usually use this time to either schedule coffee meetings, brainstorm time or admin work. In the evening, I use this time to work out and then get back on my computer to finish projects and continue to answer emails. Trust me when I tell you it’s about working smarter not harder.
Love Your Workspace
I am extremely particular with my personal space, from my bedroom, all the way to my desk. I know what works for me and what absolutely doesn’t. You spend a lot of time at your desk so make a workspace where you actually like the energy. I have always worked in an open floorplan but that doesn’t mean I can’t make my space my own. My desk is filled with cute file folders, gold desk filers, random beauty products I use throughout the day and flowers. Above all though, I keep it clutter free and clean it after the end of the workday so I walk into a clean space every morning. I recently started using two screens which has been SUCH a game-changer because it makes it easier for me to jump from tab to tab. I have a laptop stand where I place my laptop and hook up to my monitor so I am running with one system instead of switching between the two – it really has been life-changing.
I could really go on and on about different tips and tricks for the workday so let me know if this interests you and if you have specific questions you want me to talk about!