Not Enough Time In The Day


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So, here I am, half way through my internship at the PDXSX and I have been able to gain so much experience that I don’t even know how to comprehend it all. I have been given many more tasks and responsibilities since I started here in April. Now that I have semi-mastered learning acronyms, I have realized other feats to overcome. Something I have been learning to deal with at work is the plethora of meetings I have, and how to get all my tasks done in-between the meetings.

Sometimes I will be in a meeting and receive an email to complete a task within the next hour, but my meeting runs for two hours. I thought to myself “what do I do?” Both the meeting and the project were equally important, so I offered an ear during the presentation, but also began working on the project assigned.

In my previous internships, I worked at small agencies where there were very few meetings, maybe once a month, where we discussed the projects we were already working on. At my internship here, I have at least one meeting per day, if not more. Sometimes I worry because I feel as though I am falling behind on the things that need to be done because I sit in meetings all day.

After many stressful days of fretting that I would let the company and my manager down, I realized that people who are attending the meetings are also working on other things. They are attending the meeting and getting the major points, but finishing up other projects simultaneously. It is important to ensure that you are getting your work done so the company doesn’t fall behind on its tasks.

The solution? Multitasking!

The miracle? Laptops!

The help? Follow-up emails!

One thing that helps me get through my day is the follow-up emails. Most meetings I attend include slides, which if they aren’t sent out by the presenter, I request them, that way I can get a full grasp on the meeting when I have more time.

Each day is different. I am trying to adapt to the schedule and pencil in each of my assignments and time frames to get them done. I consider myself very good at multitasking but in an environment where you are trying to hear and learn everything, it can be quite difficult.

Rachael Ka’apu

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14 Responses to Not Enough Time In The Day

  1. agavette says:

    I just read a study/article the other day about how staff meetings cut down on productivity in the office. They said that if you think about it, 10 people in a one-hour meeting means that there are 10 hours of productivity gone down the drain. However, they said the solution is basically what you’ve concluded: multitasking. The article noted that people shouldn’t be expected to pay 100% attention at a staff meeting, since they have other work they need to be thinking about, or doing, or relating their work to the meeting itself. If I remember the name of the article, I’ll send you a link. But basically what I’m saying is that you seem to have found a good solution to getting your work done in spite of the obligatory meetings. Good for you!

  2. codynewton says:

    I think we’re all going to be better off if we have more tasks than less tasks. I know, I for one, will become board easily if I don’t have something to do. Most of what I do know comes from my own ideas and findings, but I still get plenty of tasks. You’re totally right about the multitasking deal. And I’d be dead if it weren’t for my computer. My laptop is my favorite thing in the world. That and the little notebook I have next to me at all times. However, the issue with the notebook is that I can’t seem to keep it organized. Oh well . . .

    I hope your organization skills are better than mine.

  3. I have the same two problems and acronyms at my internship as well. I still sit in some meetings where they are throwing out a million acronyms and I just sit their dazed and confused for half of it. After the meeting finally gets out I wonder how any work ever gets done because we’re all off to the next meeting. It’s great that you have found a balance and can get everything done. I’m still working on that delicate balance. Best of luck with the rest of your internship, though it sounds like you have a solid handle on things.

  4. wilsonemily says:

    I totally get the multitasking dilemma; there really isn’t enough to finish each task separately sometimes, so there are plenty of intances where you’re juggling a few things at once. It’s great that you recognized this and cared enough to not only prioritize, but adapt to working on projects simultaneously. I bet this will be a tremendous help to your employer as well as make you a pretty enviable intern to everyone else. Keep up the great work on both multitasking AND learning how to do the job right!

    Emily

  5. Allyson Will says:

    It is great that you even realized this about your work. It took me a long time to get a good time schedule down for work. Lately I have been doing too much multitasking. I am so worried that I wont finish my assignments that I finish everything before lunch and leave myself nothing for the afternoon. I also realized that I was not doing my best work. I often forget that no one in my office is a robot, including myself, and that good things truly take time. Multitasking is an awesome skill to have as long as you are careful!

  6. zolfaghari says:

    Rachael, you may despise me for saying this, but I’m actually glad that you’re being drilled with tasks and meetings. That’s the real deal right there when it comes to gaining professional experience! These are obstacles that, once overcome, prove you can make it in the toughest of settings. I’m actually waiting for the day where I say to myself, “Whoa, there’s almost too much work on my plate”. Definitely something to appreciate!

  7. It’s really good to hear that your agency is throwing so much work at you. They must really trust you. I’ve felt the same way at times about multitasking. Sometimes it takes compromise to do the best work though. I hope you feel comfortable letting your boss know when you’re juggling too many assignments. I know sometimes at my office (by sometimes I mean most of the time) not everyone knows what projects I’m handling and what I’m not. It’s okay to say no sometimes. They may be assigning you something, unaware that you have that 2 hour meeting to attend.

  8. pdxsx says:

    Welcome to the big leagues, Rachael! It’s pretty easy to see how people can start to work 50, 60 or 70 hour weeks!

    ~J

  9. shannonsloan says:

    Sounds pretty hectic! Keeping up with everything can be pretty overwhelming but it sounds like you have managed to keep a can do attitude. I would ask your coworkers how they manage it all, they probably have some good tips for you. I know you can do it, don’t let the stress get to you!

  10. Alysha Beck says:

    That’s great you’re getting the hang of how to be balance everything at work. I’ve had issues getting everything done I’m supposed to as well. It always seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to talk to everyone I need to and run out on assignment. I’m working on multitasking so that if I can’t finish one thing, I’ll start on another and come back to the first thing later.

  11. michelletag says:

    I believe you need to have good organizational skills to be in our profession. It’s hard to get your work done if you don’t dedicate set times for your tasks at hand. Sounds like you did a great job organizing your time and adapting to hectic situation! I’ve also heard it is good for your brain to switch up tasks.

  12. Time management and organization are key within the PR world, but multitasking is something that’s absolutely crucial to succeed in our profession. Like most PR professionals, our minds can be so many other places at once- we just need to make sure that our present focus (the meetings we’re sitting in) isn’t totally lost. Not only is the follow-up email really really helpful, but requesting the slides/presentation afterwards reflects really nicely on you and your dedication to what you’re learning and doing there at the company. Never hurts to keep a running list going. I have a small notebook that I keep a running To-Do in; that way not only are the thoughts not lost, but they’re not scattered- they’re all together in that little notebook. Keep up the good work, Rachael!

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