How to avoid your own version of March Madness

Basketball season is coming to a close, which means NCAA March Madness has finally arrived! I always love this time of year because of all of the competitiveness with brackets and contests everywhere you go.  Plus, I love cheering on the Memphis Tigers! 
And although they are fun, the March Madness festivities can get a little hectic, especially when it comes to keeping up with all of the games. For the next few weeks, the tournament will be going almost non-stop, and brackets and ranks will be changing constantly. It can be a lot to keep up with, and this time of year in public relations is the same way – especially here at Obsidian.

Courtesy of Reporting Sports on Flickr
Our office is entering into a time of gaining new clients, adding to our team, keeping up with existing clients and much more. It can seem overwhelming at times, especially from my perspective as an intern, and it’s sometimes difficult for me to keep up with our own “brackets” of clients and tasks. It seems like before we know it, the office could enter into a “madness” of its own. However, that hasn’t happened here at Obsidian, and I’m sure in part due to several habits we keep in our office. 
Our inbox is always full of “Me” emails from each team member sharing schedules and updates throughout each day. Doing this allows us to keep up with one another, as well as create awareness about everyone’s availability or lack thereof. 
Our staff emails also add a little humor to our days from time to time, which is always a necessary commodity in keeping stress levels down! 
Now this one may seem a little elementary, but I can attest firsthand to the benefits of these little daily pop-up reminders. So many times, I have found myself with my head so buried in my computer that the notebook planner I carry in my bag stays in my bag until well into the afternoon. My sense of time sometimes goes right out the front windows while I’m working on a project, and the last thing I’m thinking about is checking my planner. Thankfully, we have reminders set up for every meeting we’re supposed to be attending. These remind us where we’re supposed to be (sometimes 15 minutes in advance!). I haven’t been at Obsidian very long, but those reminders have definitely saved me a time or two…or four.
When things get busy around here, it’s easy to lose track of time and even easier to forget to take breaks. At Obsidian, I’ve noticed our allotted hour lunch break tends to take many forms. Some people use their break for lunch with friends, trips to the gym and a bite to eat on the way in, errands that have to happen in the middle of the day and even a stroll to our coffee shop next door. Taking a break during the middle of a work day should be a priority. Re-energizing and coming back to work after an hour away from the computer is key to keeping yourself from feeling completely stressed and worn out by the end of the day, as well as keeping your work quality up to par.
Each person on staff is involved with multiple accounts broadly ranging in topic. Although certain account executives are responsible for particular clients, everyone does their best to see that an account succeeds. We give major client updates during staff meetings, as well hold brainstorm sessions for clients, as needed, with our entire Memphis staff including the Dallas office from time to time. The creativity and productivity that come out of these sessions is highly valued and useful each time we put our heads together. 
These are just a few inside peeks to how we keep our office from entering into chaos, and they are practical ways you can relieve some of your stress in your life, too. 
Here’s a quick recap: Be an open communicator and always aware of the time of those around you. Leave yourself little reminders about important meetings or tasks. From electronic pop-ups to sticky notes, where there’s a will to remember your schedule, there’s a way! Remember to allow yourself some time to breathe. Don’t be afraid to step away from your desk for a few minutes or attend a quick yoga class at the gym. Everyone needs time to de-stress, and that paperwork or research project won’t go anywhere while you’re taking a few minutes for yourself. Last but not least, be resourceful with the people around you. It’s OK if you aren’t expert on something, but with a team concept working to your benefit, find out if someone around you is!