It is well documented that event planning is the 5th most stressful job in the world. This doesn’t surprise me as we are constantly faced with tight deadlines and reduced budgets. No two days are the same which means you are constantly having to think on your feet and usually pull the unimaginable out of thin air. But hey that’s some the best bit of the job!
So how do you manage and make sure that you are looking after yourself and your health whilst still producing top events. How do you stay calm in extremely high pressure situations!
During my years in the industry , i have freaked out, suffered from exhaustion, nearly lost it a few times and even suffered from depression ( although i don’t blame the industry for that more general life) and i have learnt some great ways to cope with the stresses that face us everyday.
Faultys top 5 ways to cope with event planning stress
#1 Stop, take a break and recharge
You are three days from an event, your todo list is massive and taking break is the last thing on you mind! Lunch is a distraction and sleep is for the weak, WRONG. In fact the worst thing you do is not take a break, you are actually becoming less productive and more stressed out. Even if its just for half an hour take yourself out of the situation and just go for a walk. Its amazing what a simple 10 min walk can do for your mindset.
#2 Make a plan
I know this sounds like i am preaching to the choir but making a plan is essential to avoid stress. Jumping from one thing to another means you may not be focusing on the important tasks and just giving yourself more work to do. Any good event manager with have written a plan at the start of their project with timescales included. There is nothing wrong with making a smaller plan for your day to day workload helping keep you on track.
Write a list at the start of the day and work through it. I love a good list and ticking things off as i work through them is weirdly satisfying.
#3 Develop healthy responses
Look after yourself is so important in any job, if you want to stay healthy happy and productive. Sometimes when things get bad its easy to fall into bad habits that are not really helping. I used to be a big smoker, it was definitely one of my coping strategies used frequently. When i was on site at an event and i needed to walk away i would go for a smoke. In a way i was using coping strategy #1 Stop, take a break and recharge but the smoking was not of any benefit. Be careful not to use food (overeating ) alcohol or nicotine as your coping strategy try exercise, meditation or some other form of healthier alternative that you enjoy.
#4 Manage Expectations
Don’t over promise, it’s so much easier to over deliver and exceed expectations than deal with the overwhelming feeling that you are going to fail and let someone down. Clearly identify what is achievable at start of the project and if new suggestions are put forward during the lifespan of the planning do not be afraid to say no, that certain things aren’t possible rather than just saying yes because its your boss or client that have asked for it. You will just make yourself ill stressing out trying to achieve the impossible.
#5 Establish boundaries
In this ever changing digital world we are working more than ever and there is additional pressure to be available 24/7. Just because you can access your emails doesn’t mean you have to. As previously mentioned its important to stop, take a break and recharge so switching off at home is all part of that. Set yourself some boundaries whether it be you dont check emails after or before certain times and if possible switch off you phone if you are having a day off. Although you may be screaming thats just going to cause more stress, if you get into the habit it will get easier and ultimately help you cope with your everyday stresses.
Happy planning xx