Ever get that feeling like you don’t have enough hands to do all the things you want to in one day? With all that PR people are expected to do these days (come up with creative publicity stunts, write news release after news release, maintain relationships with the media, keep clients happy with reports on everything, stay on top of all the news going on in the world, update client twitter and facebook pages, etc.) it begins to get a little overwhelming at times  – especially when you’ve got a small team like ours.

But that’s where efficiency comes in.  We’ve got to be smart about how we use our time in order to get the most done in a day. And since we can’t realistically have eight arms, here are some ways to channel your inner octopus:

  • Close your email. We often get distracted by incoming newsletters, ongoing email conversations that you get cc’d on and other non-urgent requests. Try just checking in once every hour or two and responding as appropriate. Then you won’t be bothered when you have a short amount of time to finish that urgent project or brainstorm creative ideas.
  • Create folders in Outlook where newsletters will automatically be filtered to so they won’t clutter your inbox and you can browse them all together when you have some free time.
  • Use sites like Ping.fm to post status updates to all your social networking sites including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all at the same time.
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds and Google Alerts. If there are certain topics you are tracking in the news, you can filter out all other news articles that you don’t need to read. Plus, new articles will come directly to you as they become available rather than having to search them out.
  • Budget your time like you budget your money. Set aside chunks of time to complete each task you have on your to-do list. When you start a project knowing you’ve only allotted yourself 30 minutes to complete it, you are likely to be more efficient with your time rather than spending it daydreaming about upcoming weekend activities. You could alternatively set mini deadlines for each task.

How do you channel YOUR inner octopus to maximize time at work? I welcome comments below!

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