Time management, of all the things I have tried to teach people, is the trickiest piece. So many people in the event industry are working day in and day out and have little to no outside life in between. I firmly believe however that outside the week prior to the event if you are working until 2am you either have way too much on your plate or you are just plain doing it wrong. I have worked in events for my entire career and can count on my fingers the number of nights (outside of onsite, let’s be honest, that will never change) I have had to work all night. At that most of those times it has been due to an error beyond my control that needs to be fixed. That’s not to say that I know everything there is to know about time management, but I have been successful in my job and have faithful clients so I must be doing something right.
Organization (and not procrastination)
If you don’t have organization than your entire day can go out the window. To help myself get on track everyday I create lists utilizing sticky notes on the desktop of my computer. Each morning I review my list of things that need to get done and sort them out by importance. I then work through my day ticking off the items as they are completed. Some days take a little longer to get through the list than other because new items are added throughout the day, but for the most part each day the top items do get crossed off or relisted with a different due date. This is what truly allows me to make the decision to turn off my computer each day and be done with work, knowing that all items that need to be addressed have been taken care of. Some people prefer to use pen and paper or an organizer, but either way this is the first step to getting your day going the way you want it.
I think to be in the event industry you have to be one to take on a lot of tasks and sometimes we forget that there are other people that can assist. Use them and use them often. Do you really need to be tying the ribbon on the pen or can someone else in your office do it? How about vetting that spreadsheet? Guess what, you are not the only one that can find all the attendees from Germany and alpha them by middle name. Seriously, one of the absolutely most vital things you can do is get or accept help. Now I understand that there are certain things that you need to do yourself, but for those you don’t, let it go.
Set the appropriate expectations of due dates, schedules and timing to everyone involved in your life. This is so you, your client and your family all can coexist in peace. Nothing is worse that when you say that you can get that report updated by 3pm on Tuesday for your client, but you know that’s a stretch in your schedule. You put unnecessary stress on yourself to complete something when you could have suggested a different timing to avoid missing a deadline or making yourself nuts trying to get it out the door. This way your client has what they need when they expect it and you have a peace of mind that you aren’t rushing to complete something that could then have potential mistakes.
Everyone has their own special way of keeping themselves organized, but if you find yourself wishing there were more hours at the end of the day perhaps it’s time to use another tactic. If you are trying something new, really give it a few weeks before you decide it doesn’t work for you. It takes time to develop new habits of working and if it at the end of the week you have sunlight after the end of a workday it definitely is worth the effort!
Currently she can be found traveling the globe, providing an educational experience about her job in creative production and spreading her wisdom to anyone within earshot. As a person who spends equal time on two different continents she chronicles her explorations on her daily lifestyle blog for sanity and admiration.
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