July 31 2023
In a career defined by busy, unpredictable days, PR pros are always looking for ways to be more productive. Here are five ways to help you work smarter – not harder – and prioritize productivity.
Many studies have shown that looking at your phone first thing in the morning can leave you feeling more stressed and overwhelmed. With this in mind, I’ve recently begun to make a conscious effort to leave my phone alone for 30 minutes after I wake up – and I’ve been rewarded with much calmer mornings, a better mood throughout the day and an increased ability to focus on work during work hours.
We all have various times when we’re more productive – and times when we feel a slump. Spend a week or two paying close attention to your energy and focus levels throughout the day, and use those insights to identify your best working time for priority projects. You may also be able to spot things that throw you off course, like getting the jitters from an extra cup of coffee or feeling an energy slump after skipping an afternoon snack.
No matter what systems you work in – from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to Google and Slack – technology shortcuts can be a game changer. There is a plethora of resources online featuring “tech hacks,” so take some downtime to teach yourself shortcuts that can help you shave valuable time from your projects.
Lists are essential – how would we PR pros ever manage without them?
However, I’ve found that writing a laundry list of items to tackle can be both overwhelming and inefficient.
Instead, I prefer to create a priority list to help me know where to focus my efforts for the day and week. Instead of constantly adding items to an ongoing list, this allows me to reevaluate and adjust as new tasks pop up – and they always do.
Have you ever been heads down in a big project and realized that you haven’t left your desk in hours? While that may make you feel productive, your efforts may actually backfire. Studies show that taking breaks can actually boost your productivity. I like to set a timer on my smartwatch to remind me to stand up and move – even if it’s just to refill my water bottle, do a quick stretch or taking a quick walk while I’m reading a document.
Ultimately, there are many smart ways to be more productive at work – and none of them involve logging more hours. Instead, think about the small steps that can create a strong foundation of long-term healthy productivity.