As marketing and communications professionals, we are challenged to tell stories in a time where trends are constantly replaced and buzzwords disappear before they mature. With the pace of innovation disrupting what we learned yesterday and what we thought we knew today, our day-to-days can sometimes be overwhelming. Just when we thought we finally understood virtualization or big data, concepts like the Internet of Things emerge to add a new layer of complexity.

While this is what makes our profession so exciting, it can also be difficult to keep pace with the industry. If you’re like me, finding value in my daily tasks – no matter how small or mundane – helps me to stay productive and tackle the never-ending list of action items and firedrills that fill my days.

As we wrap up Stress Awareness Month, we reached out to several industry professionals outside of Voce to learn how they manage to achieve work/life balance, stay focused, and remain productive despite all of the madness we come across on a day-to-day basis.

Embrace the chaos

angela nibbsAngela Nibbs, head of marketing, Inmoji; and founder, maven communications

There’s a certain amount of uncertainty and unpredictability that is just part of the job. Embrace that. Know your boundaries and stay focused on activities that will drive results so work hard AND smart.

There is no way to get around the long hours. But you can control how you approach them. Plan your time so you can to focus your attention on the most important things not just the urgent or top email in your inbox. Share priorities by leaning on your team for help where it makes sense. And, wherever you can, delegate tasks that divert focus or take away from driving results.

It’s PR, not ER

meghan fintland[1]Meghan Fintland, senior manager, corporate communications, NetApp

There is a popular saying in PR, “we are not saving lives, it’s PR not ER,” which I try to remember during stressful situations. In times like these, it helps to keep focused on the end goal of whatever is making you stressed and keep motivated by what success looks like.

I also try to have enough activity outside of work. It may sound contradictory, but the more commitments I have, the better I am both physically and mentally in handling stress. I currently serve on two non-profit boards and am actively involved in my son’s school. Not only does my volunteer work benefit my son, but it keeps me engaged, focused on helping others, and most importantly not solely focused on the stress of work.

30 minutes of solitude

rbhRichard Brewer-Hay, director, social media, Splunk

One of the things that keeps me sane is my 30-minute commute on the bus with my headphones. I either listen to a podcast or a playlist I’ve created on Spotify when I just want to zone out on the bus. As a social media professional, I’m always listening to someone either online or in person, so there are times when I need a little bit of time to myself. (What’s RBH listening to these days? Click here to find out.)