Ranked by Forbes as one of 2016’s top 10 most stressful jobs in the world, public relations (PR) is a highly demanding job, and an essential skill required is multitasking.
To survive in the best PR agency or any agency for that matter, multitasking is a trait to be mastered. Here are a few tips to manage this challenge:
Firstly, make a list of the tasks at hand and group them according to priority or similarity. Doing work that is of utmost importance first will demonstrate an understanding of urgency, and grouping tasks according to similarity will ensure work can be done more efficiently. The significance of making a list allows one to remember all the necessary tasks to complete so that even the smallest task will not be overshadowed by others. This is especially crucial in the fast-paced and unpredictable PR industry where there may be unprecedented work coming in with a short deadline notice, thus disrupting the workflow.
Secondly, set deadlines for each task and learn to focus on one thing at a time. It is easy to get flustered and lose concentration when the amount of work is overwhelming. Multitasking does not mean switching between tasks ever so often in a disorganised manner, such that that nothing gets done in the end. Instead, focus on one task at a time to keep calm and remain efficient. With the help of a deadline to implant a mental countdown, it ensures work is not left to snowball due to procrastination too. Here’s a video to allow you to understand multitasking:
The last important tip is to set alarms as a reminder to check whether what needs to be done is done, and that one has not gotten distracted from one’s priorities. This is useful when the workload is heavy and certain tasks may have been forgotten, or too long a time has been spent on a single task, and one needs to speed up the work process. Furthermore, alarms are difficult to ignore without acknowledging them, and they will thus serve as a powerful reality check to push one to complete what needs to be done.
As a PR veteran with close to 20 years of PR experience in Singapore and Malaysia, Elaine Seah has provided these tips which have proved to serve her well over the years.