If there was one thing I was warned of when starting in PR, it was the dreaded “burnout.” It is commonly thought that a career in public relations can only be tolerated for so long, considering the pace and the manner of work.
I’ve had my share of times when I’ve had to do a check to be sure I wasn’t overly anxious or on the brink of a complete breakdown. There are times when you may move so fast, you don’t realize you may be staring your imminent tailspin in the face.
To avoid the feeling of the downward spiral, it’s all about preparation and crisis management.
- Get yourself organized – yesterday – Though you may only want to focus your attention on an event or client report or research assignment, give yourself 30 minutes today to clean your desk, create folders for each client and have recent documents at the ready. Be sure you’re taking detailed notes during meetings during your craziest times. You need to be 100% confident about the direction of the project, which is hard to do when you’re handling vendors, catering, car service, editors and cranky clients.
- Have a back-up for your back-up -Think your event plan is super solid? Think again. Whether its an event space that falls through or a client with an “acquired” taste, more likely than not, things will change at the last minute. Make sure you have a plan B… and C and D.
- Get some sleep, seriously – You may think that going out and being social with work friends, clients or your girls will help you chill out and stay focused. You may think waking up at 5am and going to spin class and running for an hour will keep your mind sharp. I have done all of the above, and nothing keeps me more on top of my game than a good 8 hours. Give yourself a break, promise to catch up with friends and hit the gym when your project is completed, and spend some quality time in dreamland.
How do you avoid the burnout?