PR pros do not only work on accounts. They must be students of communication everyday. Organizations and corporations look to public relations professionals for knowledge on the latest in communication technology, trends, tools, and platforms. We must be able to strategically plan, execute tactics, and position ourselves as thought leaders in the communication sector. Below are five ways to stay on top of current trends and news, get your work done at the office, and not feel overwhelmed doing it all.
1. Maximize your travel time
Emails, tweets, notifications, etc. – the best time to look through these is on the metro or bus headed to work. If you do not have service or drive to work, turn on a podcast and listen to the latest in your industry. You are usually day dreaming anyway, why not put your mind to work?
2. RSS feeds
Usually work through lunch? Sort through your RSS feed and identify the articles and posts that are most important to you. Save them to read later or on the ride back from work. RSS feeds allows all the information to be in one place so you aren’t scattered all over the web with over 6 tabs open on your browser.
3. Make lists.
Get to the office early. Make a list of what you need to accomplish for the day. Prioritize them, identify what needs to get done first and include deadlines. Keep it on a pad next to you so you are always consciously aware of what you should be doing. Written lists are much easier to look at and edit.
4. Control your procrastination.
Don’t get distracted by emails. Make your to-do list first thing in the morning and then worry about answering and sending emails. Microsoft Outlook can become a black hole that sucks you in for hours. Set time blocks for tasks and schedule breaks in between. Work through a task and then reward yourself with a 5 minute break, this way you control your procrastination and work more efficiently.
5. Create twitter lists.
No one cares about what all their followers have to say. Create twitter lists to categorize those that you are following into their respective groups. It is easier to find information that way. You can have a list for friends, news, media, industry publications, or follow a certain hashtag. Articles of interest and useful information are easier to find and share with lists.
These are just a few things that have worked for me thus far in school and work. What other ways can you maximize time and be more efficient? I would love to know.