How to Stay Organized
What’s it like to herd cats? Probably a lot like being an advertising agency project manager. Having to balance multiple projects, competing deadlines and the dynamics of a creative team all at once can be daunting and extremely overwhelming. Not only that, but countless things can throw a perfectly planned day off the rails: numerous client changes, failed renders, software issues, rush projects, you name it. So, how do I stay focused and productive in this chaotic environment? It’s simple! And being organized has a lot to do with it.
Use a project management program – Or two
Basecamp is my bible! It’s the best way to keep project files and communication all in one place so I don’t have to go digging around through emails. Desktop + app notifications keep me in the loop on project updates at all times so everything stays on track. I also use Workstack, which integrates with BC, to organize and prioritize my team’s daily schedule. It’s a great tool to help me visualize each team member’s bandwidth in case an urgent project comes in, and it’s easy on the eyes, too.
Lists on lists on lists. And cute ones too! Call me old school, but there’s something so rewarding and motivating about crossing something off a piece of paper. I use my planner for my weekly overview and I also have a seperate to-do list for my daily tasks that aren’t in Basecamp. Having all my to-dos right in front of me keeps those tasks top of mind so I don’t forget anything.
Keep your desk organized
This might just be me, but there’s nothing more distracting than mess and clutter. That’s why I always keep my desk (and my house) clean and tidy so I can focus on my tasks and have no distractions. This goes for my computer desktop, too.
Single-task instead of multi-task
Multi-tasking is sooo last year. It’s all about single-tasking now, and it’s one of my productivity must-dos! Single-tasking is the opposite of multi-tasking—it means to focus on one task at a time. It helps you remember more and get things done not only faster but better. Pro tip: lock yourself in that empty conference room, put on your favorite Spotify playlist and get to work, distraction free.
Last, but certainly not least, take a break—you deserve it
This is for all you workaholics out there! Sure, it’s great to get your tasks done ahead of schedule, but at what cost? Prioritize your to-do list, be realistic with yourself and most importantly don’t burn out. Take a break, go gossip with team members, play a game or get in a nerf gun fight. Giving yourself a quick mental break alleviates stress and exhaustion, preventing mental roadblocks and keeping you on the track to productivity.