As I’m typing this post, I’m also replying to e-mails, answering phone calls, WhatsApping clients and journalists, working on proposals and dealing with other ad-hoc tasks, each more urgent than the last. Welcome to an ordinary day as a PR. How do we manage to do it all and, most importantly, have fun in between?
Here are three tips on how to be an expert multitasker:
Make a list, schedule your time
Sometimes having too many things to do might make you lose sight of the big picture, not to mention deadlines, so keeping a well-organised, prioritised to-do list is a must. This makes you stay on top of your work so that you can ensure the important tasks are being done in a timely manner, and that you’re checking them off as you go.
I have a weekly and a daily to-do-list so that I know exactly what’s on my agenda and can manage my time. I schedule tasks a specific date, and review my weekly to-do-list every morning to make sure I know what I’m doing and that I’m on track. I need this to kickstart my mind, just like my morning coffee!
Define your tasks
Identify which tasks can be done with other tasks at the same time, and which require your full attention. After that, group your tasks together wisely – you never know what else might come your way on a given day – with similar or related tasks together, so that you can truly maximize your efficiency.
Mix it up
Never put two major, difficult tasks together. Instead, break up the bigger projects with smaller ones. In this case, you can fully utilise your time if, for example, you need to wait for materials to come through for the bigger project. This way you can switch to smaller tasks and when the materials are ready, you can get back on track easily. Beyond this, it can be exhausting if you try and complete one major task after another, so by shifting to different, relatively easier tasks, your brain can have a little break in order to prepare for another challenge ahead.
Whatever your field, the ability to multitask is a useful one, and is essential for those wishing to climb the career ladder.