Working in PR and Social Media Marketing means that the MirrorMePR team have to be super efficient at managing their time and workflow effectively so what tips do they have to share on prioritising your day and managing your time effectively.
Take Time Out
We know your work is piled high but forcing yourself to sit at your desk consecutively for 8 hours a day will do nothing for your brain eyes or your posture! Take short regular breaks even if it’s just to get up and make a cup of coffee. Have a stretch and give yourself 5 minutes away from your desk. We all try to have a proper lunch break away from our desks, which can be difficult but our office rules are that everyone needs to have at least one break away from their desk. Set that standard too and we promise you’ll feel far less stressed when you return to your desk after a proper break.
Think about using your lunch hour to go for a walk, run or gym session. It will help you feel more energetic and give you improved focus on your work as well, and yes, we know it’s not always possible, but even if you plan to do at least 3 x week, we think you’ll feel the difference.
To Do Or Not To Do
Our Social Media Marketing team all have work paper diaries here in the office (We know we are so like.. 1990’s), but every evening before we leave, we write a ‘To Do’ List for the next day. The reason, so we can plan our day productively and prioritise as to what needs to be done and what can wait for a quiet moment. At a glance, you can see what you have achieved, and we say that there is no better feeling that being able to cross a task through on paper! We find it also helps us plan our days better and get a greater understanding of what realistically we can achieve (and promise the client time scale wise) We’d say that most people naturally underestimate the time it takes to undertake tasks, so understanding which jobs you are quick at and those you may struggle with is essential for better time management.
Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind
If your desk is chaotic, it’s not only going to drive your colleagues or boss mad, but it also won’t help you focus on what you need to do or what you need to find, as you attempt to rummage through the mountain of paperwork and sea of Post-It notes for the 10th time today. Every Friday afternoon we have a desk clean where we all have a tidy up, so we are ready to start the new working week on a good note! Getting into the habit of tidying up your workspace means you will feel more organised and in control of your working environment. You might not be able to control your deadlines, but you can do something about an untidy desk!
No, we don’t mean coffee or wine (Although to be fair sometimes at the end of the month on deadline we feel we could really do with a glass or two!) We are talking water! Keeping hydrated is proven to help the brain function better, and you’ll also feel refreshed and healthier than downing endless cuppas or fizzy drinks.
Seize The Day!
Having an extra half an hour in bed might appeal but then having to stay late at work because you are running late on deadline probably doesn’t. If you need to concentrate and find it hard to do so, with general chat in the office, phone calls and emails pinging on your computer, then why not see if your boss will let you come into work a little earlier and leave earlier on occasions and with notice? We have an open office policy whereby the team are welcome to come in earlier before our opening hours and leave earlier with prior notification if we have a big client presentation to do or lots of client editorial to write. Being in the peace means there are no distractions and you may find you get twice as much work done as normal! Your brain will also be more active and refreshed after a night’s sleep than if you are trying to do some significant work at 9.30 at night.
We have a huge wall planner in the office which enables all the team to be able to add key dates, and this enables the whole office to see at a glance what is going on and which events are relevant to our agency clients. This helps hugely because, for one, we can see at a glance what is looming and therefore plan any discussions/meetings, etc. well ahead of time and secondly we can also see which team members might need a bit of support. Working across different sectors means that our events schedules have different flows. Obviously in our line of work, press deadlines and coming up to key holidays have an impact on how busy we are, but generally, there is always someone who might have a spare half an hour just to help with research work or content writing. As long as you share the love back with your colleagues, we find this works well for our team.
Apps That Make You H-Appy
Look out for Apps that can help you in your line of work. For example, as a PR & Marketing Agency, we subscribe to some time-saving apps which help us do a variety of jobs from searching key content, pooling together social media analytics and even saving web page content for easy referencing at a later date. You too will possibly have lots of great apps designed for your industry specifically or ones that may not even be related but can be used for certain aspects of your job role, so ask the question in industry forums or search on the net. After all, anything that helps you make your working life more efficient is going to make life so much easier and less stressful too.