“PR is a fast-paced business.” While this is true (and true in other businesses as well), we sometimes move too fast for our own good. Deadlines, either client, media or self-imposed, often find us sacrificing the well-thought out for the “let’s just get it out”…
I am not advocating that we adopt everything espoused by the International Institute of Not Doing Much, but pausing, taking five, breathing, even “sleeping on it”, before acting may actually help you work smarter, and ultimately faster.
Here are some ways to slow down and gain an advantage:
Do not be pushed into answering questions. A response is not the same as an answer. Ask for time and take it. Your answer will be more thoughtful and well-crafted than a knee-jerk response.
Don’t let time be the enemy of success. It is not a sign of weakness to your boss or client to state, at the outset of a project, how much it will take you to do the best job possible.
If it’s not working, stop working. How many times have you tried to brainstorm or write a program or an important client report that just won’t jell? Stop. Its often best, though difficult, to abandon the draft before an overwhelming feeling of “diminishing returns” sets in. Take a walk and come back and start fresh.
Listen. You will not be considered less “smart” if you do less talking. Listen carefully to an assignment, a briefing, even a personal story that a client or higher-up is telling. The information gleaned will often prove invaluable.
Increase Face Time. In our “instant message” culture, the thought of going and sitting with a colleague may seem way too time-consuming. However, a daunting pile of emails may prevent you from getting the responses you need. Take a breather and go talk to a colleague. It is often much easier to get a commitment, some assistance, a needed response or a valued opinion by sauntering to someone’s desk and “shooting the breeze” for a few. Try it!
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