Our lives outside of the workplace are just as important as our lives within the workplace. And as PR professionals, it can be challenging to disconnect when you have to deal with deadlines, constant client and team communication, staying up to date on news, responding to journalists, and, sometimes, crisis situations. And for many of us, working from home has blurred the lines between work and personal life, making it more important than ever to manage a healthy work-life balance. I feel fortunate that Mekky Media has policies in place that support employee wellbeing and encourage quality time off while maintaining a hybrid work environment.
Based on my learnings this year, here are some tips for other PR professionals who want to strike a better balance between work and personal time:
● Set boundaries with technology - There is a perceived expectation that PR professionals have to be available 24/7, and while there is a bit of truth to that, we at Mekky are not encouraged to respond to non-urgent texts / calls / emails after hours and on weekends. This allows us to unplug after business hours and live in the moment.
● Take regular, well-timed breaks - Whether it’s leaving your desk to pick up lunch, running a quick errand or just getting up and walking around your home or office, it’s important to break away throughout the day. It gives you a moment to take a step back, reassess your goals and priorities for the day and make sure you’re on track. Plus, movement is good for the body and mind!
● Be realistic and learn how to prioritize - As PR professionals, our list of tasks may seem never ending, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or stressed if you don’t know how to set realistic goals for each day. It is impossible to cross every single thing off your to-do list (especially because PR is notorious for presenting unexpected challenges throughout the day), so make time at the beginning of each day to strategize on how to efficiently get the most important things done that day, what tasks can be delegated to other team members, and what can be carried over to the next day.
● Turn off notifications for emails / messaging services on Slack when you’re out of the office - Because we are programmed to check notifications all day, it can be helpful to turn them off to minimize the urge to check emails and messages during your personal time. Here at MMR, everyone is cognizant of not disturbing coworkers who are sick, on vacation or dealing with personal matters (unless it’s an emergency), so everyone’s well-deserved time off is respected.
As PR professionals, much of our day-to-day involves being creative and alert -- and a way to maintain that is to have enough time to unplug and recharge. Hopefully, the above tips can help you stay energized, healthy, and happy -- and ultimately, produce high quality work for clients!