PR is like having multiple personalities. Being able to flit easily from the mind-numbing task of building a media list, to securing a media interview, to answering a client e-mail and more is invaluable in this industry.

Given the fast-paced nature of our profession, it is hard to imagine that ANYONE can get out of work before 6:00 p.m. EVER. A debate that recently occurred over e-mail between a few agency friends—if you get out in time for a 6:00 p.m. happy hour are you really working or just highly productive?

I am still trying to figure out how I can land in the highly productive column. Here are a few things I am doing to succeed.

  • I have never been a morning person. So learning this trait has been a hard one: Get. Into. The office. Early. Get through the emails that dropped in your inbox overnight and file them away. A clear inbox can lead to a clear head. I swear.
  • I don’t live by this at all, but apparently, if you set aside designated times to check your e-mail it will save you time.
  • Same goes for your news sources. I have Tweetdeck set up and mark Tweets that I want to come back to.
  • Meetings, meetings and more meetings. They eat up a lot of my time. They cut my day and limit the amount of cruising time I get to power through my work. If you are always on time others will eventually learn to be on time too, thus saving you time.
  • I learned this one from my immediate supervisor (that is appearance No. 3). Microsoft Outlook’s calendar can actually serve as reminders too. One major time-saver I’ve found through its use is to set sporadic reminders to myself for items that are dangling in “follow-up limbo.” For example: the interview you got six weeks ago has it posted yet? Save yourself the hassle of sifting through your vast email for the last correspondence and set a calendar invite to pop up in a few weeks with the details of where the task at hand stands.

I am by no means succeeding at all of these, but I am trying. It helps you not only become more productive, but also effective and you are more likely to make that happy hour. Triple whammy.


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