As an event planner, you don’t work from 9 to 5. You work 24/7. Your work is unpredictable, and therefore exciting, dynamic and simply not boring. And, you know that sometimes your 24 hours a day isn’t long enough to do all the work. You’re constantly competing against the clock. So, you need to know how to organize your working hours to ensure performance, productivity and overcome stress.
You need time management skills.
But, you don’t need to be born with them – you can learn them.
Therefore, check out the following time management tips to make your event season easier and smoother, designed to save your deadlines and keep you on track.
Set up your goals
It’s important to define your daily, weekly and monthly goals. Keep them in mind the whole time during your planning process. If you start working on things that aren’t aligned with your goals, you can easily waste a lot of time.
Schedule your day using a to-do list. Take a few moments in the morning or evening to plan activities. Furthermore, set deadlines and targets. Leave time for unexpected things, like “last-minute-requests”. Every event planner knows things will often come up that you didn’t plan for, so leave approximately 20% of your planned time for that kind of circumstance. Doing this will allow you to determine time towards any difficulties.
Still, you need some help creating your list? There are online tools that can help you, like SaneBox or Calendar.
SaneBox is an assistant that analyzes your past behavior (which emails you open, which you respond to, how quickly, how often) and determines the importance of incoming emails without ever looking at the content (only the headers). It moves unimportant emails out of the Inbox into a separate folder called SaneLater and summarizes them in a digest. It works anywhere you check your email (since it’s just an email folder). This software comes with many features, like SaneBlackHole – instantly unsubscribe from annoying marketers, mailing lists and newsletters; SaneReminders – get a reminder if someone doesn’t respond to you; SaneSnooze – snooze non-urgent emails, etc.
Calendar is an application for smart time management, bringing you more fulfilling workdays and clarity to make better decisions. With Calendar’s smart scheduling link, you can eliminate the back and forth emails to find the best meeting times. This application creates native events or events on your connected calendars that sync with Google, Apple, and Outlook. It connects your Google, Outlook, and Apple calendars, and manage all of your meetings in one place, and always know what your full schedule looks like.
Event planning is a team sport, so every event planner should learn to share their tasks with other team members when it’s necessary. But, on the other hand, it’s not that easy as it seems. You might consider yourself faster and better than others, but the fact is that there are deadlines and you’re not supermen. It’s all about being realistic. So, when overloaded with work, delegate some of it to your less-busy colleagues.
For an event planner with an upcoming event, distractions are forbidden. So, stay away from all tech-related distractions: turn off your TV, log off your social media or turn off notifications, forget about e-mail. Smartphones have become an important part of life, however are you using your phone too much? AntiSocial is a clever reporting app that allows you to take control and compare your smartphone usage. It tracks your phone usage, unlocks, amount of time in each app and even compare your usage with others. Freedom is the app and website blocker for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome, used by over 1,000,000 people to reclaim focus and productivity. This application blocks distracting apps, websites (shopping, videos, games…) and time-consuming applications like email, Slack…
Even though event planners are considered to be multitasked, you need to know when it’s time to focus on one task with no interruptions.
Make time for yourself
When planning an event, you could easily forget to take breaks and overwhelm yourself with work from sunrise to sundown. It can cause more damage than good. During the working day, make sure to take some time for yourself. It can be a coffee break, a walk, or a workout. Your event doesn’t need to be perfect, by completing just 20% of your work, 80% of your event will be successful. Keeping that in mind, you can relax from time to time. But, if you tend to forget to take a break, you can rely on break-reminders tools like EyeLeo app for example. EyeLeo is a handy PC application that reminds you to take a break for your eyes.
Whether it comes to your event, your project or to-do tasks, you need to be realistic- staying with your both feet on the ground. You need to accept that unexpected issues can easily come up. When thinking about time management, think about what might go wrong. Prepare yourself for dealing with issues, make backup plans, and consider the time taken to do certain tasks like walking between areas of the venue.
Yes, you can’t predict everything, but what you can do is to think about what can go wrong and make a plan of dealing with that.
Here, we consider a two (important) things:
- Avoiding multitasking – instead of this try to focus on one thing at a time. You’ll implement your task better and faster
- Batching similar tasks together – the time you have is precious. Batching will make you more efficient and quick at your work
If you want to learn more about how to improve your productivity as an event manager, check out our previous blog: Top 7 Must-Haves for a Good Event Manager