As an event planner, you have to deal with constant stressful situations. Learning to manage event planning stress is a decisive factor in the outcome of any event.
Last year, the event coordinator ranked as one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Any number of things can add stress to event planning like issues with the venue, pressures from clients, last-minutes requests or budget restrictions. Regardless of the reasons you are stressed about, don’t let that burn you out. Find out how to untangle and calm down.
The first step in managing event planning stress is recognizing the symptoms.
Symptoms can be emotional like dealing with anxiety and disappointments or loss of motivation and confidence. Also, there are mental symptoms like poor memory and lack of concentration. Changes in eating habits and sleep patterns, as same as changes in attendance (arriving later or taking more time off), can also be stress symptoms.
The second step in managing event planning stress is identifying the causes of stress.
The most common causes of stress are tight deadlines, limited budget, demanding clients and different problems with ticket sales and managing a team.
The third step in managing event planning stress is finding the solution – an effective way to overwhelming stress.
What boundaries have you set for your clients?
It’s the middle of the night, and suddenly your phone is ringing. It’s a client. You answer because you want your client to be happy. But the truth is – you need to be happy, too! As an event planner, it’s natural that you want to satisfy your client no matter what, but you need to think about yourself, too. Therefore, set boundaries, let your clients know when you’re available to contact and how. Stick to that, otherwise, clients won’t believe you are serious and they will continue to expect replies at any time of the day. Don’t make false promises, eighter. Be honest about the team’s skills and capability and your deadlines. Personal boundaries are important, as well. Therefore, knowing your limits will help you in managing stress and prevent burnout.
As eventprofs, you tend to make clients satisfied at any cost, often forgetting to take care of yourself. And not only that. When you are time-stretched, you work all day and night as well as weekends to get things done. These two things may cause a lot of stress. So, it is very important to find a balance between work and life.
Think about things that calm you down. Make a list of it, and choose at least one activity as a non-negotiable.
When you feel overwhelmed, go for a walk. Moreover, research has shown that taking an outdoor walk for 30 minutes a day can dramatically reduce stress and improve your creativity.
Meditation help reduce stress. Pick a place and time and meditate 10 to 15 mins regularly. There are different types of meditation: mantra techniques of repeating a calming word or phrase, breathing exercises, listening to soft music or visualizing relaxing places by drawing on the senses. Therefore, chose the one that best suits your sensibility.
Exercise reduces both stress and level of endorphins – which means it can make you happy. It also improves self-esteem, sleeps quality and energy levels. Do you need more reasons? You can do some yoga or jogging, or if you don’t have time to go to the gym you can always do your workout at home.
Get Enough Sleep
This way of reducing the level of stress is probably the most important one. You can’t work efficiently if you are sleepy all the time. If you don’t get enough sleep it can affect your judgment, mood, and memory. Coffee can’t help you… only bed and a warm blanket.
In one of our previous blog posts, we wrote about how important is to adopt time- management skills. The key is to prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones. Keeping track of the prioritized tasks as well as your goals for that day, week and month can help. You can do that by making a to-do list and dividing tasks into categories.
- urgent and important
- not urgent but important
- urgent but not important
- neither urgent nor important
Learn to write everything down. You can’t keep everything in your head. Eventually, you’ll forget something. Keep all your tasks and thoughts in one place. It can be your phone or a cloud-based app. There are plenty of online tools that can help you with this like Asana, Evernote or Trello. Asana is the work management platform teams use to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks to grow business. Evernote is a note-taking app that can help you to capture and prioritize ideas, projects, and to-do lists. Furthermore, Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. It’s a flexible, free and easy to use app.
No one likes drama with colleagues nor having a constant conflict in a team. The cause of the conflict is often the lack of satisfaction between your team members. To avoid that, try with supporting them and offer work/life balance. Give them opportunities for growth. Provide them a discount for the gym. Organize team-building.
Don’t forget to communicate with your team members about deadlines and tasks. Delegate important tasks to them – allow them to prove themselves as hardworking and reliable workers.
When Things Go Wrong
It’s always smart to have a backup plan when/if things go wrong. Eventually, something will fail, whether for a few hours or a few days. If you accept this, you’ll be calmer and mentally stronger. Try to understand the effect of failure and then take necessary measures to avoid that in the future.