PR Pros guide to increased productivity

The Easter break is probably my favourite holiday of the year. With four days off work and none of the craziness associated with Christmas, I find Easter is a time where I can really switch off from the day-to-day work, recharge my batteries and look for ways to increase my productivity for the day job.

To do this, I’ve collated a selection best tips for increasing your productivity to help make you a more effective PR pro.

Prioritise the most important tasks –
Concentrate on a couple of your most substantial jobs you need to complete. At the start of a day, knock out your highest priority tasks prior to reading the news or responding to emails. Got a task for a client that you have been putting off for a while? Or has a client asked you to do something that you think you will struggle with? Do it first thing in the morning and don’t start another task until you have finished it. Sometimes starting a task is the hardest part – just start it and get it done and you will feel much better once it’s off your plate. Not only will you get it out the way early in your day, meaning that you have more time for other clients. But your client will be impressed that you have got it to them before the deadline.time later on in your day and assures that they’ll get done in a timely manner.

Step away from the computer – Manifest Comms
No matter how busy you feel you are it is important to take breaks throughout the day. I often go for a quick walk around the block to get moving and to focus myself. You can’t always be working at optimum productivity so aim for working in short bursts at productive times. The important thing is to give your head a breather, especially if you are working on multiple accounts. You will be surprised at how much more productive you feel after a five minute break.

Turn off all distractions – PR Institute for Australia
Distractions are everywhere, and because we live surrounded by ‘smart’ devices, we are engulfed in them every minute of every day. I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any recipe websites you may frequent during procrastination. Distractions only happen if you let them. Put your mobile away so that you can plan, strategize and achieve your daily goals.

Delegate and use your entire PR team – Matter Communications
Whether you’re a PR team manager or senior account executive, be sure to leverage the strengths of your entire team when it comes to client interactions, administrative tasks, pitching the media, research, building media lists, trade shows, etc. Playing to team members’ strengths will make your job easier and drive better results for the client. Don’t fear delegation. It’s important to pass the work on to team members with necessary skills who are motivated to get the job done. If you push work on to more junior team members, it will free your time and help younger PR professionals grow and learn.

Learn to say “no.” – PR Daily
This is perhaps one of the hardest tips to follow, because most of us are ambitious by nature and believe we can do it all. Don’t just say “no” when you want to, but when you must decline because of more pressing commitments. If a client or your boss asks, “Can you get to this right away?” and you realistically can’t, be honest and say so. You can do so in a polite and even accommodating manner, offering a response like: “Would two hours from now work for you? That way I can give my full attention and deliver the best results.” What client wouldn’t take that over a rush job? (Or even better, request “end of day” to allow yourself even more time and not throw off the rest of your day’s activities.)

Meeting etiquette – Steve Waddington’s Blog (@Wadds)
Meetings and conference calls are one of the biggest productivity sinks of modern business life. Never accept a meeting without an agenda, always prepare and insist that the goals and the outcomes are defined. Always avoid post meeting gossip. It’s never helpful.

Embrace the to do list – Matter Communications
I love the feel of paper in my hands – whether it’s notebook paper or newspaper. So, you could venture to guess that I’m a paper to-do list kind of gal. I cherish my paper to-do list. I find the repetitive nature of jotting down tasks on a sheet of paper each day helpful. It helps train my brain to know what needs to get done. I can’t lie but I get a little thrill every time I cross off a task on my list. Tell me I’m not alone on that one?

If all else fails, Get up earlier – American Express Open Forums
Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. It’s not uncommon for successful CEOs to start their day well before 6 a.m. In 27 Executives Who Wake Up Really Early, we see how incredibly busy people—from Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, to Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo—use their mornings to seize the day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals. As Laura Vanderkam says in What Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide To Making Over Your Morning—And Life, while many are sleeping in, successful people are already up and getting a lot done. If this is not your preference, Vanderkam advises to start with small steps, such as getting up just 15 minutes earlier every day and gradually increasing the time.


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