Multi-Tasking: Productive or Bad Prioritizing?

PR and marketing professionals are famous for juggling multiple initiatives or projects, as it is important for them to have a strong pulse on their company/or client, e.g., current objectives, products/solutions, industry trends and what the competition is doing.  Staying on top of things is often as important as solid writing and media pitching skills. However, are we being more productive by multi-tasking or should we spend more time zeroing in on priorities? There is a case to be made for both.

Often PR pros do not have a choice and must be flexible.  For example, a major product launch, industry event and customer initiative might take place in the same week. However, when time isn’t an issue it is best to focus on a set of priorities. Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay productive.

Agree on Priorities – Sometimes it is difficult to prioritize projects, which can lead to an adverse “do-it-all-at-once” approach. Discuss top-level activities via an agenda with your team and/or clients to gain consensus, and then work together to tackle objectives in order of importance.

Stay Organized – With a full plate of activities, it is crucial to remain organized. Luckily, there are a host of available web-based tools that support project management and overall organization. Basecamp or Google Drive, for example, are great for team collaboration and ensuring your colleagues and/or clients stay in the loop on future projects or tasks. But be wary of using too many online tools, which can lead to confusion and unproductive time spent juggling communications across platforms.

Pause for Reflection – Take time to reflect when the activity would benefit from slowing down but don’t procrastinate.  Schedule a brainstorming session with your team, jot your thoughts down on a “real” piece of paper or go for a walk to infuse creativity into a project.  However, don’t fall down on the job by putting the activity off.

My colleague Eve Sheridan recently wrote a post about keeping a balanced mindset, which is sure to increase productivity.  Read here.

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