5 Time Management Tips for Staying Productive and Working From Home Tools – Advice From Someone Working in Public Relations
I work in public relations and that means that my job is the pinnacle of not being a 9-to-5. Long before working from home became a normal, my agency had let us opt-into working remotely full-time. The reasoning for trading in a traditional office for remote work made sense actually. As an entertainment PR firm with a specialty in award campaigns and film festivals, our team was always traveling. (Ugh, do you remember the pleasure and pain of work trips?) With a model of working from home a lot of the time I had to learn how to develop a robust time management system.
Between living on the west coast and trying to wake up to catch up with my ET associates, to long days of meetings and even longer press days, I will never not say that time management is a real skill. I’m sure it’s true with most jobs, but PR is not like most jobs. When you work in public relations or any field of communications and marketing you need to have almost every minute planned out. As you may know, there’s hundreds upon hundreds of aesthetically pleasing videos on how to plan your day and all of that. Well if you’re like me, then you don’t have the time or patience to sit down for several hours hand drawing a bullet journal.
Sorry, but I’m trying to save time not spend more of it trying to master my cursive, or as my friends used to call it my, “wizard writing”. That being said, you know I’m getting old because I got excited on a recent trip to the mall because I found great home office supplies! Like I actually skipped a normal stroll in my favorite luxury boutiques for stationary.
The time management tools I picked up were all from Anthropologie. In case you haven’t heard of it, Anthropologie is primarily a retail clothing company, but they’re also known for their amazing scents and oh-so aesthetic gifts in different lifestyle categories. In both an effort to share some time management tips I also want to offer some real-life products and examples of how to use them to effectively manage your time.
1. Find a scent for your work from home space
1.Have you ever walked into a store or office and just whiffed a scent that makes you feel calm or happy? Well, after working from home for almost a year now I realized that along with having a good desk and chair, having a good scent is a productivity essential. A key to being great at time management is being able to create a space that invites productivity.
If you’re uncomfortable in any way, even by the smells around you, then you mind cannot focus on the tasks at hand. My current favorite is the Capri Blue Volcano Room Spray – a great citrus and tropical inspired scent. Maybe you’re more into vanilla or you’re a lavender type of person, whatever your scent is find it and spritz a bit before you get to work.
2. always have open notes and a pen at hand to stay productive
1.I mentioned this in another blog, but always always always have a notebook or pad nearby. Whether you hear something in a meeting, or an urgent task comes in, you want a way of recording important information. Being able to hand write notes makes you feel like you’re more productive. And once you think you’re working hard you’ll really start working! In my job, I always write out speaking points before meetings with clients. I have to be ready to answer any question that comes my way on current brand partnerships, marketing campaign updates, and of course, things coming up in awards season.
Again, don't stick to sticky notes. Have a real notebook or notepad nearby and you'll see that your work from home setup will feel more legit!
3. create a to-do list the night before, the morning of, and for the next day to manage time
1.When I first saw this gold mine in time management and productivity tools, I had to get not one, but two of these Ramona and Ruth Daily Overview Notepads! I think that to-do lists are one of the most talked about but underrated tools in talking about time management tips. Every Fortune 500 CEO makes them, Oprah swears by them, so why aren’t you making a to-do list?! Since my first PR internship, I saw that a good to-do list separates an okay associate from a great executive.
If you want to master time management, make a to-do list for the day. Make this list the night before, check it again the day-of, and if you don’t finish it bring it into the next day. Keeping track of your tasks instead of swearing you’ll remember them is a time management golden rule.
4. take breaks, not naps to stay productive working from home
In a world working from home, the comforts of home sometimes offer a great escape from work. I totally advocate for taking breaks. Because ultimately you are worth more than your work. However, you cannot slack especially if you want to build a career. Consider taking timed breaks throughout the day. Maybe at the top of every hour you give yourself a 10-minute break. But make sure to actually set a timer for yourself!
5. Don't be afraid to change up the scenery
When I started working from home I had a desk in my room, but eventually that became boring. I was feeling uninspired and mostly unproductive. It took physically moving around the space and myself to feel refreshed. Time management is about more than cranking out tasks like a machine. As people, we need breaks and we sometimes need to switch things up.
As I started getting up early I found myself working in the kitchen in the morning. As I made my morning coffee and caught up on emails I also made my to-do list. Other mornings, I'd work outside in my front yard. I grabbed my lap desk and sat in the grass before the sun beamed down giving me too many of those magical California rays. How ever you do it, try to sometimes mix up your home office space to keep up your time management routine.
Let me know, which of these tips was the most useful? Did any surprise you?
Make sure to tag me on Twitter or Instagram @Willsshowem
and show me what time management tips you practiced!
Also, check out my video below for Zoom meeting tips!
Thanks for reading these Words By Will! I'll see you in the next post
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.