Confessions of a Account Exec.: Hybrid Multitasking
Bridget M. Forney | MediaBuzz
Upon entry of high school the first thing every freshman gets is a complimentary day-planner. Walk in to any office supply store and there are aisles dedicated to the holy art of scheduling with cute calendars and personal schedule books as far as the eye can see. But there is more than one way to skin a cat.
The Trials of Multitasking
Multitasking is something every professional does, and everyone has a personal style of task-management. In public relations, particularly when working within an agency, execs are constantly juggling different clients and their needs. It’s not uncommon to be writing a press release for one client, simultaneously fielding a call for another and then prepping for a meeting before issuing the release. Even aspiring PR pros and college students are faced with managing tasks of all kinds from class assignments to job applications and interviews. Time management is something ingrained into each of us at a very early age, and in PR, effective time management can make or break PR success.
Calendars are effective for scheduling meetings and keeping track of personal and professional time but a hybrid strategy of multitasking that utilizes both a to-do list and a calendar can be an effective element in taming an otherwise hectic PR life.
Each technique, by itself, is vulnerable to weaknesses. With a to-do list, items aren’t tied to a time or a date and they lack a specific start time and end deadline. When you live by a calendar (electronic or otherwise), rescheduling un-done tasks is easy to fall into, which defeats the purpose of scheduling. Hybrid multitasking lets your calendar and to-do list work together.
How to Effectively Hybrid Multitask
Do this by using your calendar for appointments, date-dependent events (i.e. package arrivals) and personal engagements (i.e. exercising). Then, look at your calendar to find out where you have openings and use that time to work on your to-do list. Decide which tasks fit most appropriately for you to work on in the time you have available on your calendar.
Whether you live by a calendar or you’re a slave to a to-do list, it’s easy to learn the other side and merge the two together for a more effective way of managing time. Using at least one technique is helpful but using the hybrid could be the difference between making your deadlines and rescheduling them.