PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Time Management from a College Kid

Behold the life of a college student: figuring out what we want to do with the rest of our lives, being active in student organizations, getting a job and trying to find time to cook a decent meal all in one day. Oh yeah, going to class occasionally.

Going into my third year of college, I have learned a lot about time management and prioritizing. Here’s a couple of tips on time management I’ve learned so far:

1. When something comes up, whether it’s e-mail or a quick phone call or even something that requires research, take care of it. Not tomorrow or the next day. Today. Right now.

Chris Brogan wrote a great blog post that inspired me to change up my e-mail practices, and this can be applied to other things as well. It comes down to processing your incoming e-mail upon receipt. That means your either read it and archive/delete it, reply with the appropriate response or forward it on to the next person. People appreciate a quick and accurate response, so making sure that you have thoroughly analyzed the message is essential. Not all of us work on a computer all day, so leaving yourself time to get things done on the to do list is a good idea.

It all comes back to my favorite life quote: if not now, when?

2. Get a job. Yes, you too, freshmen.

Maybe it’s my workaholic tendencies, but I find that having a job, along with having a full class load, gives my day the structure it needs. I have three classes on Monday, four on Wednesday, and two on Tuesday and Thursday. It totals up to right around 15 hours of class per week, give or take a few. Besides studying, what would I do with my time without a job?

Look around campus, no matter where you are. There are jobs no matter what field you want to go into. And hey, who can’t use a few extra bucks?

3. Don’t say “no” because you are too busy.

Turning down an opportunity might hurt you in the long run. If you are asked to serve on a committee or help out with an event, see how you can get involved. Remember, you don’t always need to be the leader; serving in all levels on teams will make you a more rounded professional.

Making time for others is key. If you don’t have enough hours in the day, it might be time to see if you are using your time wisely.

4. Spending time on school is important too. But not too much time.

My roommate, an engineering major, often brags about spending 14 hours studying for an exam. Usually that includes a couple hours worth of video games, but that’s beside the point. My point is that you need to be efficient about how you study. I have operated under the belief that two hours worth of efficient studying is much more worth it than staring at notes for hours on end. It’s working out for me.

Just as you would be in the PR world, it’s important to minimize wasted time and maximize on efficiency. During my internship at John Bailey & Associates this summer, I learned a lot about how the company billed clients. I also learned the value of working on the clock for someone else- my work was included in the monthly billing to clients. I know that I would not appreciate someone playing on Facebook all day, so since this internship, I have worked on doing what I’m supposed to me doing (such as reading) and avoiding distractions (Facebook, anyone?).

5. Having fun is important too.

Especially this year, I sometimes find myself caught up knee-deep with so much to do. It’s OK to take a night (or two if you’re really brave) and relax from work.

What am I missing? Any thoughts or feedback?


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

5 Responses

  1. Ari Adler says:

    Good stuff Nick. Just be careful not to burn yourself out.

    You know how they say you have to “pay yourself” by putting money into a savings account as a regular bill each month or you won’t ever really save money? The same goes for time management. If you don’t schedule downtime, it won’t happen. When you have a lot of things competing on your schedule, you’ll easily forgo downtime in order to get something done. But, in the end, planned relaxation is going to help you get more done in the long run.

    Ironic, but hey, what in life isn’t? 🙂

  2. Nicole Genaw says:

    I hear you on all of this.

    Personally, for me I feel guilty giving myself some “off” time and just relaxing.

    Getting a job is definitely key. When i was a freshman, I didn’t have a job and I had so much free time that I began slacking during the time I needed to focus and study.

    I’ve been told by a few people that college has a flow, and it definitely does. In your first year, you might think it’s all fun and games and that you have plenty of time to get serious. Then the second year hits you like a rock to your head and you realize that perhaps you need to do some school work, get a job, get serious. Now, junior year, is the year where you strive. Strive to be better, smarter, more involved.

    I can’t wait to see what senior year brings!

  3. Whitney Lloyd says:

    I love that you worked “If not now, when?” into this blog (which, btw, I’ve been waiting on since July). It’s about damn time Nicky.

  4. Becky Johns says:

    Nick, in watching you at work and knowing everything you’ve got on your plate…I think you’re doing a great job with everything! It is unbelievable how much you balance on a daily basis, and seemingly, with ease.

    I wish I had been as on the ball as you are when I was your age. Okay, so I’m not that much older, but if I could have a year of college back, I would spend it by getting as involved (in everything) as you are.

    And that is your warm fuzzy for the day 🙂

  5. Matt Haupt says:

    Good first post. If there was anything that you should write on, it is Time Management, because boy are you in a lot of stuff!

    There is no way I can follow that email policy though…I am too forgetful to jump from a million things at once. Thank God Outlook has a way to flag emails so you know which ones you need to get back to!

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