According to the United States Department of Labor, business sector productivity increased 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013. As a bustling bi-coastal technology PR firm, RH Strategic employees rely on their knack for time management to optimize productivity. Here’s how:
- Make Use of the Organization Tools Outlook has to Offer. Director of Public Sector Courtney Hastings is known as the master of task management and organization at RH Strategic. How does she do it? Outlook task manager. Instead of creating to-do lists on Microsoft Word or pieces of paper that can be lost or buried during the peak of a crazy work day, Courtney keeps her to-do list in the cloud. Outlook task manager is useful because you can categorize to-do list items, flag important emails to read or follow-up on later, send task requests to fellow employees, schedule recurring tasks and access remotely using Outlook exchange. For more Outlook organization tips, check out this article from TechRepublic.
- Learn the Shortcuts on your Operating System and Browser. Account executives always juggle multiple projects. One tactic they use to stay sane is to get simple tasks done as quickly as possible using technology shortcuts. For instance, when working on tedious task like building a media list or PowerPoint formatting, keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + F for find and Ctrl + K for hyperlinking can be lifesavers. Here’s a master list of new Windows 7 shortcuts from LifeHacker for more shortcuts. In addition, Internet browsers such as Google Chrome and Bing have search formulas that can help you find information faster. On Chrome, you can use the search query “filetype:docx [keyword]” to find resources in certain file types such as docx, xlsx, pdf and ppt. Or you can type “define [word]” to get a quick definition from Dictinary.com. For a complete list of browser shortcuts, read this article from The New York Times.
- Recognize your Peak Productivity Time and Take Advantage. Director of Marketing Jason Poos knows that his mornings have fewer interruptions and organizes his days accordingly to be most productive. Jason says that he likes to start his days on projects that require creativity and strategic thought. Then when things start to heat up as west coast clients come online, he can react to incoming emails and phone calls and work on more task-based items. Strategically using the morning time seems to be a common trend; according to a Yahoo! Finance survey waking up early is the most common trait among successful CEOs.
- Finish what you Start. Vice President Trish Rimo uses the momentum created when starting a project to efficiently carry her through to the finish line. If she has action items resulting from a meeting, she tries to get them started while the information is fresh in her mind so she doesn’t have to review it again later down the road. The objective is to touch something just once if you can; touching it again takes additional time out of your day.
- Constantly Reevaluate your To-Do List. Account Executive Kelli Sheppard is diligent with her to-do list, making sure to reevaluate and adjust as project priorities flow in. Whenever Kelli receives a new assignment, she refers back to her task list and makes sure it can fit in with her current deadlines for the day. This best practice also keeps her conscious of what other deadlines are coming up in the week. At any given moment, she is in touch with all of her goals for the week.
Want some more useful tips on how to run a successful, efficient business? Make sure to read our blog posts on how to manage client expectations and how to utilize SEO. What are some of your best PR time management tips?