First Busy Season Survival Guide

October 6, 2015     Career Advice


It’s October. It’s time to solemnly put away our bathing suits and super-sized bottles of SPF 60, and adjust back to reality.

Reality for us PR folk in October means the start of the busy season. If this is your first busy season, it is important to remember to remain calm. You’ve got this!

Still not feeling confident? I have some advice to get you through.

Ask for help

This I learned through encouragement from my managers. Ask for help and accept help when it’s offered. Breaking up a project is not a red flag of poor time management skills or incapability, it is a signal to your team that your goal is quality work and not just work with only your name attached. A team works better, faster, and stronger together.

Speaking of teams, credit to my mom for this gif.

Get organized

This one may seem like a no brainer, but dedicating time to organizing helps. Clean up your office space, come up with list systems, maybe even re-arrange your office furniture.

Most importantly, learn how other people keep organized and take their suggestions. The best part of working in the 21st century: The internet is full of people providing their unrequested advice on pretty much everything. Think this kind of casual advice from a yuppy was so readily available 60 years ago? #no

Planners are fun.

De-Stress Your Life

Find a new fitness regimen. There is ton of science backing how great physical activity is for reducing stress and anxiety. Anecdotally, I can add that your laptop feeling lighter as each day passes is very rewarding.

Music. Play your jams on the way into work, at your desk or on the way home. There is more proof that calming concertos are better for reducing stress, but personally I find a good mix of Beyonce, her husband and the next it-Indie band works best for me.

Mantras are incredibly helpful also. Find a phrase that you can leave on your desk or desktop, or use as your lock screen background to pump you up. It could be anything from a song lyric, to something your mom or boss said last week. You do you (that’s a really good one, actually).

Queen B is a great resource for mantras.

Take. Breaks.

I’m a coffee drinker. Some might say addict. I prefer connoisseur. Whatever they call me, my coffee break in the afternoon is my favourite time of day because it means a walk around the block.

There is science behind this. Breaks help us remain inspired, ensure we are retaining and processing information and help us to take a step back and assess how efficiently we are accomplishing tasks. Plus, taking a break means passing a Tim Hortons. They still have Nutella treats. Look how great those 15 minutes could be!

To which you reply, ON IT.

Just keep swimming

Keep those immortal words from a lovable fish in mind. If it is a sink or swim situation, just opt for the latter. There are going to be days where not everything is going to happen, but there is always tomorrow. This is life. Keep doing your best to accomplish what you can and eventually it will all get done. Do your best to provide updates to your team members and management on what is complete, what is in progress and what is delayed. This way, there are as few surprises as possible.

Dory knows.

Speaking of Surprises

Those happen. Campaigns don’t work. Fans complain. You won’t know how to do something. It may feel like all 9 levels of the inferno have in fact broken loose, but you can reign it all back in I promise. I don’t know you, but I can tell you can handle it.

Hyperbole is common.

There is Light…

…at the end of the busy season tunnel. By light, we mean next summer. It’s only 258 days away! It will fly by! We hope. Vacation(s) may be necessary.

Can’t wait to see my first spring flower of 2016.

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