Monday, June 17, 2013

Want to Keep Up in the Magazine World? 4 Easy Ways to Prioritize!

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons 
My first few days at Women’s Lifestyle Mag have been incredible. It’s been a lot to take in, but I love that there is so much to do. There are no coffee runs here!

Now that I’ve learned the tedious things, like how to work the magazine’s content management systems (more on this later, promise) and the login information for a social media account, I’m ready to roll.

I have a list of tasks that need to be accomplished each day and it’s my job to get them done! Then, there are also the occasional side projects, like transcribing or running items to the freight closet, which I’m also responsible for.

I’ve learned very quickly that the key to tackling a long list of things-to-do is prioritizing. I need to be good at judging which projects need to get done and when.

During the school year, I work a 40-hour week and still attend class full time, so I’m not too shabby at managing my time! But, I have to admit; the mag world is fast paced, even for me! I’m slowly getting the hang of things, but I’m still learning. I’ve made a list of four things I’ve been doing to help me prioritize my time.

1. New project from an editor or supervisor? Stop everything and do it! 
I’ve had a few cases where an editor would send me something that needed to be transcribed, and I stopped what I was working on to get it done. If an editor hands you something to do, it’s likely that they need it back ASAP. Unless they say, “No worries, this isn’t urgent,” I try to do these extra assignments right away.

2. Keep track of deadlines.
I write a blog post that is published before 1 p.m. every day and I’m normally freaking out about this until it’s live. However, there is one duty that I worry about before I even write the blog post: social media pitches. I do these right away in the morning for two reasons: 1) I need to pin throughout the day—not all at once. 2) It can take awhile to receive hi-res photos from the photo team if they are swamped. I’ve learned it’s best to email them with a list of photos that I need early in the day. This way, I’ll definitely have the images by the time I need to post them.

3. Email is your best friend.
In addition to keeping an eye on the clock, I’ve found that it’s super important to have my email open at all times. The editors in the web department communicate through email a ton. This can make things little tricky if I’m not paying attention—I could potentially miss an assignment if I’m zoned in on another task! (Thank god that hasn’t happened yet…knock on wood). I’ve been trying to always have a tab with my email open. I’d also recommend making sure that your computer makes a “ding!” sound whenever a new message hits the ‘ol inbox.

4. Don’t be afraid to stay late.
Normally, I get to go home at 6 p.m., but I’ve already stayed late once to make sure that I had completed everything that had been assigned to me. I think that if you need to stay late for some reason, it’s best just to suck it up and do it. An intern at another publication told me that she stayed late on three different occasions because there was still work to do. It really impressed her supervisor. Bottom line is you want to show your supervisor (and others you work with!) that you care about your job and are willing to put in the effort to make sure you’re doing it right!

Do you have any prioritizing tips? How do you stay on top of your to-do list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Women’s Lifestyle Intern       

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