The 5 O’clock Split
Need help managing production workloads, organizing and sticking to production schedules, and still getting out of the office before the cleaning crew arrives? “The 5 O’clock Split” interview shares other professionals’ sanity-saving secrets, and strategies in time management and expediting workflow.
Gina Montemurro is in her 10th year with North American Publishing Company (NAPCO). As group production director, she is responsible for daily ad trafficking and various other duties involved with the four monthly publications she oversees: Catalog Success, Fundraising Success, Inside Direct Mail and Target Marketing.
What does your typical day-to-day work schedule look like?
GM: I can honestly say that I never know what a given day may bring. It keeps me on my toes for sure. Depending on which publication is on the front burner, I ensure that the ads are arriving and are moving through preflight as they should be. If a publication is closing, I remain in close contact with editorial and sales to make sure we are all on the same page. If a publication is at the printer, I am in close contact with my customer service rep to ensure we are on schedule there. I guess the best thing to say is there is really nothing typical about my work day—it really depends on how many issues I am juggling at once, and with four publications and usually only four weeks in a month, I’m basically always doing something.
How many hours do you typically spend at the office during a normal week? And, during exceptionally busy times (overlapping deadlines, staff shortages, etc.), how do you manage your hectic workload and still have a life outside the office?
GM: In a normal work week, I spend 38 to 40 hours in the office. During exceptionally busy times, I will come in early or stay late one day a week. I can get so much more done in the hours when relatively few people are in the office. More importantly, the phone isn’t ringing, e-mail isn’t popping in every five minutes, people aren’t stopping by with questions, etc. This quiet time, if you will, is the key for me when it gets hectic. This commitment to working extra time that one day enables me to go home and enjoy the rest of the time outside of the office without worrying about something I may have forgotten.