Public Relations is a rapidly evolving career, and in the age of technology, it’s easy for PR students to find a career while in school. Whether it’s managing social media accounts, working communications for a campaign, or another PR opportunity, students can find themselves juggling schoolwork and their career, which is a lot to handle and can lead to serious burnout.
As someone who has experienced this and been a victim of the scattered and stressed-out lifestyle it brings, I compiled a list of ways to handle these challenges. I have included tips to help with your career, your studies, and — most importantly — help you to take care of yourself.
Take time for yourself. This is probably the most important tip on the list, and for good reason. When it comes to managing a multitude of tasks a day, you can’t forget to give yourself room to breathe. It’s an essential element of preventing burnout, and believe it or not, it improves productivity.
Make to-do lists. Some people are to-do lists people, and some aren’t. Still, if you’re juggling a job and an education, it might be time to become a to-do list person. Not only does this improve productivity and prevent tasks from falling through the cracks, but it’s also a mental booster to see how much you’ve accomplished throughout your day. Sometimes to-do lists can save a failing grade or push you closer to a promotion.
Prioritize life, school, and work together. For success as both a student and professional, it’s important to prioritize your entire workload together. Incorporating your hobbies and personal life into your work routine is beneficial for boosting mental health. A formula that I’ve found for keeping a well-balanced list of priorities is to plan on fulfilling one school requirement (tuition money is an investment, so rank these tasks high), completing one job requirement (if you’re obligated to fulfill these, this should be a close second) and doing one thing that benefits you (lunch with a friend, working out, or chipping away at chores). From there, I start the timeline over and keep going. This will keep you balanced, while also displaying everything you’ve done that day.
Learn to be okay with failure. The times that I have felt most stressed is when the day concludes, but I still haven’t finished everything. To prevent that, start the day by recognizing that not everything may get accomplished. As crushing as it may seem, learning to accept the possibility of failure early is good so that it doesn’t hurt your morale and productivity going forward. Still, be diligent and give your all every day; that’s all you can do and that’s enough.
Make your bed: There’s a video of Navy Admirable, William H. Mcraven, telling recent graduates to make their bed, and it’s a game changer. The Naval Officer tells the students the importance of making a bed isn’t about having a clean room, but the fact that if you have had the worst day, you come back to a made bed. If you have had the best day, you made your bed. If you failed a test, messed up at work, and didn’t do anything for yourself that day, you made your bed. The concept is the consistency and the reliable comfort that you did accomplish at least one thing that day and ultimately you prepared yourself better for the future. It’s simple but sweet, and always beneficial when applied to practice.
Regardless of what your life is like at the moment, these practices can still be applied. In fact, if you haven’t jumped into that realm yet, many of these tips are great to start implementing now. If you’re in a similar position, what kinds of tips do you use? How have they worked for you? I would love to hear them in the comment section below.
Noah Griffith is a senior at Samford University studying journalism and mass communication with a concentration in public relations. He has worked close to 15 political campaigns and managed social media influencers throughout the country. He recently launched his own consulting firm, The Gryphon Network, where he currently manages multiple clients.