Ugh, Time Management

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Well being that it has been one month, and one week, since my last post, it’s probably time to jump back on the bandwagon.  Between a new job, moving to NYC, and the holidays, balancing everything has been quite difficult for me.  Honestly, if it has been difficult for me, it most likely has been difficult for more out there, hence the post on Time Management.

I feel like every interview I go on, when someone asks “What is your weakness?” I always say, ‘Time Management.’ It’s definitely an easy out, because most people have time management issues so it’s pretty acceptable – and I’m not about to admit a fault that I have that isn’t acceptable…Now, don’t get me wrong, some people have natural time management skills, have minor OCD, can stick to agendas, and fit everything in their life, but this is definitely something that takes time.  The real question is how does one learn time management skills?

In PR, time management is imperative, especially at an agency.  When you have more than one client you absolutely can not spend all day on one client.  Whether it be preparing a segment for The Today Show, or getting together a product mailing, every client should have some work done for them through out the day. Below are some tips that have helped me with time management, and I would absolutely love more tips and feedback, since it definitely is a continual learning process…

Make Lists – I make lists all the time…in my head…which is not a good thing. I would make lists all the time while on the subway, bus, walking, etc. and then completely forget about them when I got into my cubical.  It wasn’t until I started writing these lists down that I realized that they really are beneficial.  Just a basic list with a few goals that you need to finish today, regardless of what comes up.

Prioritize – Sometimes it’s hard to prioritize, but in PR you have always be on top of things.  If there is breaking news you obviously have to get something out for your client before you finish what you are currently doing. Sometimes, “I’ll do it in a minute” will make time for your competitor to get in there and steal the opportunity away from your client.

Set Time Aside – Set time aside each day for something, whether it be to surf Facebook, or check out twitter, or even write a #prbc post.  If you set time away for something then you won’t be doing that while you are trying to finish up something else—and it will get done much faster.

DELEGATE DELEGATE DELEGATE – I was an intern once too, and it’s part of the process.  We can’t always do everything all the time, and when there is something simple that can be done, get it off your plate and assign an intern.  There is no need to wait in line at the Post Office in NYC for over an hour if you have interns.  Your time is spent better elsewhere. (Just an example people, not saying that just interns should go to the post office, sometimes we all need to deal with the pain of that wretched place…oh yeah, anyone know why the post office sucks and has been losing money for years and years? Hmmm, could it be because it’s government run?  Yep, and what’s going to be government run soon?  Healthcare…we are doomed…)

So I hope these tips give you some perspective on time management skills. As I am always learning, I look forward to everyone’s feedback.

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  • stephmajercik

    Great advice here! In the past two years I have really had to hone in my time management skills. Lists saved my life. I make a list every night of the things I have to do the next day. Delegation is probably the thing I have to work the hardest on, but I am trying more and more. I think you hit the nail on the head here though as far as how to work on good time management!

    (Side Note: Let's hope healthcare is never government run, or it will be about as efficient as the post office…Pres said so himself)

    Stephanie Majercik
    @stephmajercik

  • Great tips. I like to think time management is something I am fairly good at, but the truth is that everyone struggles with it at some point or another.

    This sort of goes along with what you've already suggested, but in addition to making lists, I really like to use my desk calendar. It allows me see the big picture – when an event is coming up or when something important is due. When you look at the big picture, whether you know your schedule a couple days out or a couple weeks out, you can easily see which days you'll be swamped and which will allow you some extra time to work on an unexpected task.

  • stephmajercik

    Great advice here! In the past two years I have really had to hone in my time management skills. Lists saved my life. I make a list every night of the things I have to do the next day. Delegation is probably the thing I have to work the hardest on, but I am trying more and more. I think you hit the nail on the head here though as far as how to work on good time management!

    (Side Note: Let's hope healthcare is never government run, or it will be about as efficient as the post office…Pres said so himself)

    Stephanie Majercik
    @stephmajercik

  • Great tips. I like to think time management is something I am fairly good at, but the truth is that everyone struggles with it at some point or another.

    This sort of goes along with what you've already suggested, but in addition to making lists, I really like to use my desk calendar. It allows me see the big picture – when an event is coming up or when something important is due. When you look at the big picture, whether you know your schedule a couple days out or a couple weeks out, you can easily see which days you'll be swamped and which will allow you some extra time to work on an unexpected task.