Staying Organized and Maximizing Productivity in a Creative Environment

How to Stay Organized What’s it like to herd cats?

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.

To-do lists

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.