As public relations professionals, our work is always busy, and just as we think that we are all caught up, something new will likely surface.
If this sounds familiar to you, don’t let your head spin off too fast. The key to remaining cool, calm and collected during these uber stressful moments is to set yourself up for success. How? Be organized (all the time).
When urgent assignments come up (and they will), they can be exacerbated by a cluttered desk and full inbox, which can keep you from finding the resources you need quickly and efficiently.
I have learned that being organized changes the way I approach my work. Here are some tips for your own Operation Organize:
- Declutter your inbox: Having a clean inbox is a huge weight off my mind. I organize my inbox by maintaining separate folders for each client account. Plot twist: I only like to keep what I am still working on in my actual inbox. Everything that has been completed goes straight to the archives. But be careful, don’t mistake archiving for deleting – I simply file away emails into their appropriate folder once I no longer need to reference them. This helps keep your inbox more scannable and manageable – making it easier for you to see what your priorities are for the day.
- Embrace color: This goes hand-in-hand with decluttering your inbox – it’s Inbox 2.0. It might seem intense, but I love color coordinating my inbox. I have colors assigned to each client, and as I receive emails, I ensure that it is immediately color-coded. I also do the same thing with my calendar. This helps me navigate my inbox easier when I need to find documents quickly. Also, it helps me visualize what my workload looks like for the day.
- Touch up your to-do list: We are creatures of habit. And in order to be truly organized, I have found it very helpful to have an office morning routine. An essential part of my routine is writing up my daily to-do list. I categorize my to-do list by client and include every little thing on a daily basis to ensure that smaller tasks “that will only take me a few minutes” don’t fall through the cracks.
- Prioritize: Each day, prioritize your list of tasks. If you are unsure about what projects should take precedence over others, make sure you clarify with your manager to ensure that your team is on the same page. When I have certain projects that I need to prioritize over others, I’ll also flag them in my inbox and highlight them on my to-do list – which helps keep me accountable throughout the workday.
What are your best organization tips?