A New Pro’s Never-Ending To-Do List

I have a never-ending to-do list.

It’s not just work items on that list. It’s things for my multiple side hustles, it’s household chores, it’s taking care of an 18-year-old cat with kidney disease, it’s making sure I get in a workout — and the list goes on and on. It’s a lot. It’s overwhelming.

And I’m not the only one in this situation.

As new professionals, we constantly feel like we have to prove ourselves. We are the new ones in the office who don’t want to look like the stereotypical millennial that doesn’t put in the hard work (disclaimer: I have never once seen this stereotype in action). These misperceptions often make us work harder, but our generation also recognizes the need for a work/life balance.

So what is a new pro with a never-ending list to do? If you’re in the same situation, I’ve compiled three best tips for dealing with your own to-do list that doesn’t ever seem to end.

Prioritize

Priority lists constantly change; they aren’t static. One week, you may realize that you need to prioritize one side-hustle over another. Another week, household chores may jump to the top. After that, maybe you have to put your main job as the priority (plus some self-care to deal with those long hours). Just stay organized and keep an open mind.

Power Through

Even if you’re careful to prioritize, there are times when you just have to power through to really get your list under control. Things like a lack of motivation or an especially busy week can double your work. To help you get through it, treat yourself to an activity you enjoy afterward to really power through.

Take a Step Back

Sometimes, we’re just too close to things to see them clearly. Try taking a step back and reminding yourself that it’s okay to not get every single item checked off. Regardless of how productive your day, week, or month was, it’s never a bad time to take a break. Spend a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of coffee, or curl up with that book you’ve been dying to read. It’s actually good for your mental health.

Overall, to-do lists are a great and wonderful tool for keeping your life on track, but don’t get so caught up by them that you end up overwhelmed. Consult your list, but allow for spontaneity. And hey, if that means an item doesn’t get checked off, that’s okay.

 

 

Resources for COVID-19 Communciations

It can’t be said enough that these are unprecedented times. I think for most new professionals, this is the first time in our careers that we are dealing with a global crisis. For many of us, we are working from home for the first time as we have been told by our state or local government to shelter in place.

These are troubling times indeed. Some of us could be worried about our jobs and have witnessed loved ones losing theirs. Some of us are desperately trying to remember everything we learned about crisis communications back in college because we haven’t been faced with that situation yet in our careers. Some of us are just trying to make it through each day until life goes back to some semblance of normalcy.

New Pros and PRSA are here to help where we can. PRSA has created a wealth of resources for us to use as we navigate this crisis including a live webinar series. There’s also the MyPRSA Open Forum as well as the MyPRSA New Professionals forum. Reach out on those platforms if you need advice. Reach out to your networks on social media if you are just looking for support.

No one is alone in this.

Sincerely,

The PRSA New Professionals Executive Committee

It can’t be said enough that these are unprecedented times. I think for most new professionals, this is the first time in our careers that we are dealing with a global crisis. For many of us, we are working from home for the first time as we have been told by our state or local government to shelter in place. These are troubling times indeed. Some of us could be worried about our jobs and have witnessed loved ones losing theirs. Some of us are desperately trying to remember everything we learned about crisis communications back in college because we haven’t been faced with that situation yet in our careers. Some of us are just trying to make it through each day until life goes back to some semblance of normalcy. New Pros and PRSA are here to help where we can. PRSA has created a wealth of resources for us to use as we navigate this crisis including a live webinar series. There’s also the MyPRSA Open Forum as well as the MyPRSA New Professionals forum. Reach out on those platforms if you need advice. Reach out to your networks on social media if you are just looking for support. No one is alone in this. Sincerely, The PRSA New Professionals Executive Committee

New Pros Chapter Spotlight: PRSA Colorado

PRSA Chapter: Colorado
Location: Greater Denver Area
Chair(s): Dani Row and Bailey Gannett

Tell us about your New Pros group:
We’re a dedicated group of new professionals (a mix of young pros, professionals in the midst of career change, and those looking to stay sharp on PR trends). Our group gets together about once a month for happy hours, panels, professional development workshops, and more to help cultivate our PR skills and provide a network where we can all come together to collaborate.

How many members do you have?
We have around 100 in our email list, but around 30 active members.

What kind of programming have you put together for New Pros?
Monthly (or bimonthly) happy hours; events vary from casual networking happy hours after work to more refined events with local industry experts/professionals; twice a year we host larger events to help professionals (both PR and non-PR are encouraged to attend) where we offer an added incentive like a new headshot for LinkedIn, resume critiques, or mock interviews.

How does your group fit into the bigger picture of the chapter?
We work closely with our chapter’s communications committee to promote our events and to encourage our membership team to attend events to talk about the benefits of becoming a PRSA member.  Our group also acts a pipeline to funnel in those who have expressed interest in PRSA but have not yet committed fully to joining the organization. The New pros events are a friendly, top of funnel type of event that encourage participation from all who have even a remote interest in learning more. We often help with converting PRSSA students over to PRSA members. We also work with the Finance team on budgets (when applicable) and work with a liaison, someone who serves on the Board and can serve as the NP representative at monthly Board meetings. Oftentimes, we rely on PRSA Board members or seasoned members to help with larger events to serve as resume critics or mock interviewers.

What resources do you provide for New Pros?
Expert advice from respected members of the PR community and tips on all things PR (social media, media relations, community relations, crisis communications). Members of the NP group who are regulars get the added benefit of becoming friends with other members and using the time to network with other members for job opportunities or relationship-building

What do some of your members see as the benefit of being a part of the bigger New Pros group?
Our members utilize the New Pros group to gain industry insight on trends and knowledge, collaborate with both young and seasoned professionals, and develop professional skills necessary to propel forward in their careers.

How do you engage and recruit New Pros?
We often engage and recruit new professionals through our PRSA Colorado social media channels, through our personal social media channels, during regular PRSA chapter events and through active recruitment with local universities and their respective PRSSA chapters.

What advice do you have for New Pros for using PRSA to their best advantage?
Get involved! Joining a committee or even serving on the Board or as a chair allows you to build your network of industry professionals—you never know when this will come in handy.

Find what interests you. Not every group is the right fit for every member. Go to a few different group events and see what feels right. Once you’ve found one (or more) you like you can dedicate your time to getting more involved.

Many times, members get discounts for events outside of the NP like luncheons. Being a member certainly has its perks—and a financial gain is certainly a big one.

Contact Us!

Dani Row and Bailey Gannett are co-chairs of PRSA Colorado’s New Professional Section.

Dani Row
Dani graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Kansas State University in 2012. She is currently a public relations manager with Velocity Global, LLC, based in Denver, Colorado.
Email: danirow@velocityglobal.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/danirow/

Bailey Gannett
Bailey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018. She is currently a communications specialist with Cherwell Software, based in Denver, Colorado.

Email: bailey.gannett@cherwell.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/baileygannett/

Cut Out the Noise: Curate and prioritize your digital world

Cut Out the Noise

You have 10 minutes to read the many email newsletters you generously subscribe to and 10 minutes to spend on Instagram or Twitter hoping for a burst of creative inspiration to materialize before your next meeting or before you arrive at work. If 20 minutes were all the time you might spend consuming media in a day, how would your mindless scrolling change to actively engaging?

We accept that the media influences what importance the public places on events. In the same vein, what we see on social media has the power to tell our minds what is important. Why not curate a digital feed that piques and provokes your interest? Leave behind mindless scrolling. Take control of your digital feed and give yourself content that is motivating, inspiring and intriguing. 

Whether we call it a digital meditation to manifest the reality you want or a self-fulfilling prophecy, there’s power in actively selecting what you consume through social media, email or even news notifications. 

How to cut out the noise and curate your digital world? 

  1. Know the difference between content that is noise and content that is worth consuming. This definition is different for everyone. 
  2. Seek out the best of the best content. Follow the leading brands, thought leaders and newsmakers in your industry and similar industries. 
  3. Rather than scroll and ignore, unfollow and unsubscribe. 
  4. Create a routine, so that at the end of 20 minutes you are more knowledgeable or more inspired. 
  5. Revisit what interests and inspires you. If you find content put out by a brand or influencer, or even a friend, is not serving you or bringing you down, mute or unfollow that account. 

In the span of writing this blog, my email rang with six notifications, my phone binged with four text alerts, and news alerts came through for CNN, the local NBC station, and Twitter. Our world is indisputably cluttered with content. As creative professionals and communicators, we must be experts at cutting through the noise. 

Curate your feed and subscriptions to ideas, people, brands and news that intrigue and inspire you. You might find yourself ready to take on a new challenge, to dig deeper, or more energized to stay curious. 

New Pros Recommend: Podcasts

Not quite an audio book and not quite talk radio, podcasts are the next great commuter companion. There are currently over 750,000 podcasts with more than 30 million episodes according to an article from Podcast Insights updated in June 2019. The same article reported that more than half the U.S. population has listened to a podcast.

The variety of podcasts has grown so much over the last few years, there is something out there for everyone and every interest. Podcasts can be informational, entertaining, suspenseful, investigative and so much more. Below are a few podcast recommendations from PRSA New Pros members.

Podcast: The Daily

Summary: This is how the news should sound. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism.

Recommended by: Arielle Schrader, Senior Account Executive, Small Girls PR

Why you should listen: “I listen to The Daily because politics are overwhelming to me and they do a great job of recapping recent political news in layman’s terms!”

Podcast: Hello Monday

Summary: A show where senior editor at large Jessi Hempel investigates the changing nature of work, and how that work is changing us. What does work mean to us? Should we love what we do? Join Jessi as she talks with guests such as Seth Meyers, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Melinda Gates to unearth lessons that apply to our own careers. These conversations are enriched by original reporting by LinkedIn’s managing editor, Caroline Fairchild.

Recommended by: Robyn Rudish-Laning, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, Airports Council International – North America

Why Robyn recommends Hello Monday: “I love Hello Monday from LinkedIn because it features guests across a variety of industries to discuss ‘how we’re changing the nature of work, and how that work is changing us.’ It’s great to hear from people about their own career journeys and discussions and topics have sparked new ideas for me on a lot of things, from how to handle obstacles in the office to making my own new opportunities and a whole lot more.”

Podcast: How I Built This

Summary: Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

Recommended by: Emma Finkbeiner, Digital Media Coordinator, Chicago Cubs

Why you should listen:

“How I Built This is both inspiring and fascinating. Inspiring because it makes you realize that some of the most well-known brands, companies and founders had a journey full of challenges before they achieved success. Fascinating because the stories behind Warby Parker, Lyft, Whole Foods, Stitch Fix and more will surprise you.”

Podcast: WorkLife

Summary: Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to explore the science of making work not suck. From learning how to love criticism to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again.

Recommended by: Sarah G. Dougherty, Associate, Financial Services

Why Sarah recommends WorkLife: “WorkLife makes you think outside the box. I love it because it addresses common workplace challenges and career themes, but incorporates unique perspectives that come together to make strong points and tangible takeaways for everyday life, no matter what your career path may be. I listen on my walk to work and find myself excited and already thinking about ways to apply what Adam Grant and the guests have discussed that day. A recent episode called ‘Become friends with your rivals’ incorporates the role of competition in success that was really captivating, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the episodes!”