Recently I was on Twitter and came across this article from PR News titled, “5 Ways to Manage Work Overload”. If you’d like to check it out, you can read the article for yourself here. The reason I was quickly intrigued by this article is because at this point in the academic year I am very stressed and have lots to do.
Yet, while my college professors may be understanding at times, it is still my responsibility to be able to manage everything I have going on in my life, hence why I wanted to highlight these great tips.
Tip #1 – Define “ASAP”: learning what it means when our peers and professors ask that tasks be performed as soon as possible. While we should not put it off for the next two weeks, the request may be able to wait until later that day or early tomorrow morning.
Tip #2 – To Prioritize is to Categorize: by allotting tasks into different categories, it will help us move a single list with hundreds of “to-dos” down to segments that we can prioritize and get done in parts.
Tip #3 – Be Candid: many times when we find ourselves with a lot to do, it can be hard to say no to certain people. Especially in the PR field, we are constantly learning the importance of relationships, so wouldn’t saying no to a request burn that bridge forever? This article suggests being honest and letting that person know, “I have other tasks that need to get done this week, can I refer you to someone else to handle your request?”, can still keep the peace because while you were unable to complete the task, they can now refer to someone else to check it off their list.
Tip #4 – Go Away: regain your sanity! Take a quick walk, a short drive or just a trip to the vending machine to grab a soda. A little free time away from your desk and homework will do you good and help you stay focused for later.
Tip #5 – Mark Things Off With Attitude: it feels good to complete a task so do so with authority! Blot it out, scratch it off or even burn the list up.
Overall, while this article mentions work overload specifically in the lives of PR professionals, I think this applies to college students today, especially since I am interested in pursuing a PR career.