Let’s face it: agency life can be tough. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun! Working in an agency gives you the opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest and most creative individuals you’ll ever meet. This means growing and learning from others, as well as participating healthy competition and a fast-paced environment. Therefore, making the most of your time and thriving in your agency is very important to your career and personal sanity. For the days when the three cups of coffee won’t be enough, here are five tips for surviving agency life.
Answer your emails
When working at an agency, emails tend to pile on top of one another. From clients needing answers, to vendors taking (what seems like) forever to respond, or co-workers that want to know the status of a project, the number next to your inbox icon can be overwhelming. Inbox pile-ups can happen, but they are easier to manage if you answer them as soon as they land in your inbox. Don’t wait, because it can come back to bite you if you overlook something that could’ve been important!
Don’t email everything
Emails are convenient, but they shouldn’t be the answer to all. Messages can slip through the cracks when everything is handled via email, particularly in group emails or threads. Instead of crafting a written response, sometimes it’s best to make a call, or even approach a co-worker. This is especially true in the case of a negative message. Tone and demeanor are not translated online, so messages are often misunderstood. If a negative email is coming from someone within the office, or someone you can meet with in person, take the time to chat with them face-to-face to clear up any confusion and give the situation a better chance of having a positive outcome.
It’s okay to say no
Most people become overwhelmed when balancing several client demands. That’s okay - sometimes multi-tasking responsibilities can be more than you can handle. To save yourself the stress, it’s important to take on new projects strategically. When you have too much on your plate, just say “no.” Getting your work done with attention to detail and care is most important, and balancing too many projects at once can negatively affect your work.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
The first thing you should do in the morning (next to making a pot of coffee) is create a well-thought out to-do list. Put the most important task of the day at the top of your list. To-do lists are lifesavers, particularly because tasks can be forgotten or put in the back of your mind without them. At the end of each week, evaluate what you have done and write down a list of things in order of importance for the coming week. For a quicker alternative, sticky notes can be helpful too! Urgent assignments usually pop out of nowhere, so writing down a reminder on a sticky note will help you remember.
Don’t overwork yourself
Agency life is stressful. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the long hours and never-ending pile of work. Remember, it is okay to take time for yourself and relax without opening your email for a while. Each night, make it habit to workout, watch your favorite television show, or just do nothing to recharge from a long day. On weekends, unplug from emails and take time for yourself.
Whenever you feel pressured or overwhelmed from your job, take a breather and remember that it’s all going to be okay! What are your tips on surviving agency life? Share them with us on Twitter!