Stop Being Busy and Start Being Awesome by Melanie Wilt
Stop Being Busy and Start Being Awesome by Melanie Wilt

Stop Being Busy and Start Being Awesome

By Melanie Wilt

Imagine standing in a room, holding a piece of paper that represents the length of your overwhelming to-do list. Now, look around as your colleagues arrange themselves from those with the longest list to those with the shortest. This simple activity vividly captures the weight of tasks we carry daily and the varying strategies employed to manage them.

Exploring  the core challenges faced by communicators and PR professionals, we’ll offer actionable strategies to alleviate overwhelm and enhance productivity.

Stop Spreading Yourself Too Thin

As ambitious communicators, we often fall into the trap of overcommitting. We take on tasks beyond our capacity, driven by the desire to excel. However, this eagerness can lead to spreading ourselves too thin, compromising the quality of our work.

Communication encompasses diverse responsibilities, from administration to research, often blurring boundaries with other domains. While it’s difficult for many of us, we should resist the urge to do everything ourselves and embrace the power of delegation. By delegating tasks effectively, we not only lighten our load but also empower others to contribute meaningfully.

Negotiate Expectations from Start to Finish

Effective communication requires clear alignment with organizational goals and priorities. When presented with a new task, ask critical questions:

  • Does it align with our mission?
  • Is it necessary and a priority?
  • Do I have the resources to excel?

If the answers are yes, proceed with confidence. Otherwise, engage in a dialogue to clarify expectations and assess the feasibility of the task. By advocating for strategic alignment and adequate resources, communicators can ensure our efforts yield impactful outcomes.

Creating a “Delegated” list aids in tracking delegated projects, fostering accountability and transparency. When delegating, set clear expectations, empower team members and maintain open communication channels to monitor progress effectively.

Understand the Cost of Strategy

Strategic thinking is paramount in communication, yet it requires a balance between ideation and execution. Invest time in strategic thinking to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Recognize the value of external support, whether through freelance assistance or agency partnerships, to supplement internal capabilities.

Strategic pursuits come with costs beyond monetary considerations. In today’s landscape, where we are constantly stimulated with messages (texts, scrolls and demands), it is more important than ever to prioritize your health and wellness to sustain peak performance. It takes self-awareness and intentional “me time” to mitigate the physical, mental and emotional toll of high-stress environments. That’s why it’s crucial to cultivate a supportive network and prioritize personal relationships that foster our well-being.

In the fast-paced world of communication, dealing with overwhelm is a frequent challenge. By implementing these strategies, we can reclaim control of our to-do lists and channel our efforts towards impactful outcomes. Stop overcommitting, negotiate expectations and invest in strategic thinking. It’s time to wipe away the overwhelm and pave the way for success in communication endeavors.