Tag Archives: PR

10 tips for getting more done with less effort

Time Expired

These days it seems like we don’t have enough time in the day to do everything we need to do. How often have you heard: There are not enough hours in the day! I have no time to work out. I don’t have enough time for social media. Whatever the excuse is, we all have a lot on our plate.

So the question is: how does one find more time in the day?

Here are 10 time management tips that you may be overlooking:

1. Ask smart questions about your email inbox.

Let’s face the facts. We live in our email inbox—whether it is your work or personal email. Are we asking ourselves the right questions when it comes to our email? Can this email wait until later? Does this email need my attention right away? Can I direct that person to someone else? Am I really ever going to ever respond to this email? Is this email just an FYI, is there action required or is it for my files? The key is to be aggressive when it comes to your email inbox. Will you really need this email 6 months or a year from now? No? Delete. You may want to read 4 steps to inbox zero.

2. Keep your emails short and sweet.

Don’t send one-word emails but get to the point fast. As they say in the journalism world: don’t bury the lead. For example, change the email subject line when an email changes topics. You may want to read 6 CEO productivity tips to steal for yourself where it talks about that you should think about your emails like you do with your tweets (limit them to 140 characters or less.

3. Take advantage of web tools.

Like it or not, organizations and users are going to the cloud. Think Adobe’s acceleration its shift to the cloud. Learn how to take advantage of web tools like Adobe’s Creative Cloud and free tools like Pixlr Editor. File sharing tools are also making it easier for collaboration. You may want to read 22 file-sharing tools for easy collaboration.

4. Pick web browsers that don’t slow your system down.

Internet Explorer has features that slow your browser experience down so users are switching to Mozilla’s Firefox or Google Chrome that are faster and include useful features like bookmark syncing. Chrome has recently passed Internet Explorer to become the world’s most popular web browser. The key is to get the most of your web browser space with extensions like Hootsuite’s Hootlet and minimizing bookmark icons. You may want to read 6 ways to maximize your browser real estate.

5. Lose the clutter in your work or home office.

Do you have a lot of clutter in your work or home office? Clutter can drain you. It can frustrate you. It can make it difficult for you to accomplish things. You should think about how you cause clutter and how your office or home design creates clutter. Working in the right workspace can help you get more done with less effort.

6. Discover how you are spending your time.

How do you spend your time every day? You may want to fill out your own Wheel of Productivity. Then, give it a hard look. Are you spending enough time to the colors that matter most to you? Another good way to find out how you are spending time is to fill out your calendar with tasks you accomplished that hour or half hour. Then, look over the past month. What did you accomplish? When did you accomplish the most—the morning or the evening? If you don’t know already, it may tell if you are morning person or evening person. You may want to read how your body clock affects your life.  

7. Get your calendar under control.

Don’t fill up your calendar with standing meetings. These meetings may be good if you are not doing anything else but evaluate whether certain meetings have taken their course and need to be restructured or canceled altogether. Another way to reduce time is by bundling meetings by location. If you are traveling back and forth from a certain location, reduce the travel time by booking all your meetings in that location in one day. As Stephen Covey said, “the key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” Are you investing in your time the right way?

8. Run meetings more effectively.

You have probably been in those meetings are a waste of time. Do they start on time? It is common across corporate America for meetings to be a waste of time, not fun, and to start late. So how does a meeting run more effectively? Have the person who organized the meeting discuss the goals of the meeting. Make sure that he or she gives “homework” assignments either before or after the meeting so people know what to expect for the meeting or what to do for before the next meeting. Another time is to book the meeting for the length you need. Most meetings will go the full 30 minutes or hour if that time is booked for that. As Parkinson’s Law states: “work will fill the time available for its completion.”

9. Manage your energy not your time.

The key to managing your energy is to take breaks every 90 minutes. It helps you better work with your body’s natural rhythms. It is simple concept: spend energy more wisely and you will have more of it. The key is to be conscious of the ways you are building rest and renewal into your day. You may want to read 6 ways to use less energy to get more done.  

10. Get a good night’s sleep.

Are you getting enough sleep? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. How much sleep you need depends on you and as we get older. Adults generally need seven to eight hours but according to a national health interview survey, nearly 30 percent of adults report getting less than six hours of sleep. To make sure you get sleep you need, try to go to bed the same time every night, avoid large meals before bed, and avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed. You also need to get good, deep sleep. You want to ready about an iPhone app that promises no more sleepless nights.

In the end, managing your time well is taking the time to ensure you prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency.

What productivity tips would you add to this list?

These are a few of my favorite social media things

Favorite logo

Favorite logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the musical film The Sound of Music. The song that everyone knows from this movie is “My Favorite Things.” In tribute to this movie and song, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite social mediathings.

Video

A refresh of the original Social Media Revolution video with new and updated statistics. The facts in the video come from the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.

PowerPoint

This is a great presentation, courtesy of the Social Media Club of Greenville.

Database

A list of 126 social media policies, all in one location. Also, another must-read for developing and implementing your social media policy: 10 Must Haves for Your Social Media Policy.

Quote

Chris Brogan from his new book Social Media 101: “Social media lets you go wide, but YOU have to make it go deep.”

Want more social media quotes? Then, you should read 99 favorite social media quotes and tips.

E-Newsletter

PR Daily — a daily e-newsletter and website from Ragan Communications — that highlights the top stories from the web about social media, marketing and public relations.

 

What are some of your favorite social media things?

Show your constituents some love

We’ve been featuring Alumni Valentines in our GW Colonial Cable alumni e-newsletter for three years running. I typically have some trouble finding couples to profile, but this year was different.

We leveraged social networks and asked couples whose relationship began at GW to share their stories. I posted a message to our GW Alumni LinkedIn Group and on Twitter (@GWAlumni) and watched the messages rolled in.

We received 25+ stories, more than enough for our e-newsletter, and enough to spill over into a “More Alumni Valentines” story next month. The story received two to three times as many click-throughs as our traditional feature story in our e-newsletter.

On this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to show your constituents some love by engaging them across your social networks to help you tell more interesting stories.

Know Your Audience

We try to segment our social media outlets and target our messages accordingly. Here is how we focus our communications on each of the GW Alumni social networks (recognizing there is some audience overlap):

LinkedIn– Build awareness of career services, opportunities, and news, encourage peer connections, find story ideas, and open conversation through “discussions”

Twitter – Quick hits to build prestige around the university and its alumni (top news and prominent alumni), support relationships, and find story ideas

Facebook – Promote events, share regional-specific information, encourage peer connections

YouTube – Share highlights from alumni and university events, build awareness of leadership in the university and alumni association

Flickr – Repository for event photos, maintain engagement

Social media is by its nature not about simply pushing information out, but learning about your constituents needs and engaging them in dialogue. GW graduate and social media consultant Steve Goldner recommends bringing an “LCR mentality” to your social media outreach – Listen, Conversation, Relationships.

One powerful way to encourage conversations and build relationships is by soliciting advice and feedback from your audience on story ideas. In this case, the quality of our engagement through social media is just as important as the quantity.

Recognize Your Reach…and Limitations

For most organizations, social media provides another platform to reach a certain segment of your audience. Our largest GW Alumni social network – LinkedIn, with 10,430 members – only represents about 5% of our alumni population.

According to research by Forrester (see Josh Bernoff’s post on Social Technographics) 17 percent of U.S. online adults are “inactive” on social networks and the largest percentage group are simply “spectators” who read, listen and watch, but do not take an active role in a conversation.

It is important to use a variety of communication platforms in your outreach. For our Alumni Valentines feature I solicited names of couples during in-person conversations, through e-mails, and on social networks. The story was e-mailed out through our e-newsletter, featured on our website, and posted on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages. The piece included a call to action for others to share their Alumni Valentine stories, which allows us to build off the original story.

Create Winning Content Through Collaboration

Some people are more interesting in 140 characters than others. Some videos on YouTube become viral hits and others flounder. Some individuals on LinkedIn spark thought-provoking discussions, while others come off as completely self-promotional. And some stories in your e-newsletter receive more click-throughs than others.

Creating content that resonates remains crucial. Develop content with input from your constituents on a variety of social networks and share that content across several different platforms. You will engage more individuals, hear more ideas, and produce a better end product.

How have you seen success by engaging your social networks in developing content?

This post is courtesy of guest blogger Matt Lindsay (@lindsam8). Matt is the director of alumni communications at The George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C.

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