The beginning of a new year is always a good time for reflection. It's a fresh start, an opportunity to pause and re-think ones approach to career and personal priorities.
For event planners, career/life balance can be elusive. Projects often come on short notice with tight timeframes for execution. This can result in "burning the candle" at both ends and eventual burnout. Also, if an event planners serves clients or needs to connect with suppliers in a variety of time zones, days can be long.
Event planners can succeed in what can be a demanding profession and still achieve a degree of personal balance. Balance won't happen automatically. It requires a strategy and careful planning.
Put the Rocks in First
"Put the rocks" in first is a Covey principle on which we have touched in other contexts. It was a personal Epiphany for me when my son was a lot younger. Franklyn/Covey uses a simple demonstration to highlight this principle. To put sand and rocks in a jar or other container, if you put the rocks in first, the sand will fill the spaces around it and the rocks and sand will all fit. If you put the sand in first, it will fill up the space and the rocks will never fit.
Think of "rocks" as foundation stones or cornerstones for your life. Thee most value added activities. The application to career/life balance is to put important personal, family activities and professional development into one's schedule first. These "important but not urgent" that contribute to long-term success tend to fall by the wayside if they are not built into your plan early.
The beginning of a new year before the calendar fills up is the perfect time to schedule family vacations and the activities in which children and other family members participate. Carve out space for hobbies that you have neglected and that professional development course you've been wanting to take for a long time. These activities will help you "re-charge your batteries" and achieve a greater sense of personal balance.
Identify our personal productive time.
Some individuals are morning people. I am definitely a night person and I get my second wind later in the evening. Do whatever works best for you. Think of it as your "quiet time." Use your quiet time for brainstorming and creative thinking. Whenever the demands of work spill over beyond the boundaries of the regular work day, get up early or stay up later based on your personal rhythm. Focus on challenging tasks that require your undivided attention during those "golden hours."
Don't Neglect Rest
Pinpoint when you energy is at its low point. If you are self-employed, when your energy is low, that is the ideal time to schedule rest time. If you try to push through it, the law of diminishing returns will kick in and you may not be as productive as you had hoped. Even world leaders power nap. For example, it was one of the success strategies used by President John F. Kennedy.
Whenever you have a demanding project, schedule some rest time for when it is over. This may take the form of staying an extract couple of days at a foreign destination for some rest and relaxation, booking spa treatments or scheduling a couple of vacation days if you are working full-time. Rest means different things to different people, find out what it means to you.
If your workplace has flexible hours, have an honest talk with your boss and work together to come up with a plan that will help you be more productive at work and achieve more balance during personal time.
For more tips, also consult Event Planning: 10 Tips to Stop Going Home from Events Exhausted and Event Planning: 6 Surefire Strategies to Avoid Burnout.
Photo Credit: alyssssyla