Managing Time Management

21 Apr

As an Account Coordinator, I do a lot of different things everyday. There is rarely I time that I will spend more than 1 consecutive hour on a task. Often times it’s many (many) tidbits throughout the day. This means the ability to multi-task like mad AND keep tabs on time management. Let me tell you: This is incredibly hard. I am by no means a Master at it yet – but I’m learning new strategies everyday.

So, for all those about-to-be PR grads hoping to start a career at an agency, here’s my top three time management tactics to help you make it in the PR agency world. 
Use the Tools You Have
By this I mean all the nifty little features of your email program (most use Outlook), or your Blackberry. I’ve begun using the Task function in Outlook to remind me of looming deadlines, questions I need to ask people and emails I need to send. With so many things flying at you from all directions, this helps keep things in perspective for the days to come.
Talk to Yourself
I’m not sure about other people, but things I need to do or new ideas always pop into my head at strange times. Sure, I can try to ‘remind myself’ later – or I can really remind myself by sending an email or leaving a voicemail for myself. Making notes to yourself isn’t much good if you don’t remember you made a note 😉
Ask Others How They Manage
When things get really swamped, I let people know – and ask for suggestions on how to keep things straight. One suggestion from my Manager was to split my To Do list into two sections: One that I fill up in the morning with my tasks for the day, and the other is “As It Happens” – where I add in new tasks that always pop up throughout the day. That way, there’s always space in my book for new items. 
Take the Time
Even when it’s crazy, it’s so important to take the time to time manage. Sure, it’s difficult to pull yourself away when you have deadlines and a To Do list as long as your arm – but it’s only going to get worse if you don’t stop, slow down and make the time to input your tasks for the week, send yourself that reminder email or ask for help. 
So those are my tips so far. 
What do you do to help keep yourself on track?
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2 Responses to “Managing Time Management”

  1. amandalaird April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    My motto in work and life is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It is so true that five minutes of planning can save you an hour of work. I use a good old fashioned paper planner. It’s quicker to jot something down that to try and log it into Outlook. It sits open on my desk each and every day and it the first thing I see in the morning.Another great tool is a “Bring-Forward System.” You know when you need to bring something to your manager’s attention on the 29th or next Tuesday or whenever it is. You can get really fancy and get a file folder that has a slot for each day of the month, numbered 1-31, or for a simple, easier version, you can just have one file folder marked “Bring Forward” handy on your desk. Make a point to review it every morning so you don’t miss anything. It’s great to keep on track and also means you don’t loose important things in the meantime because they are always safe in your BF folder.

  2. amandalaird April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    One more point re: the BF folder. When you put things in the folder put them in reverse chronological order so the documents with the longest dates are on the bottom and the shorter dates are on top. This way, when you open it up on the 29th, the document you need is there and not buried.

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