If you are an event planner it’s safe to say you’ve been stressed out a time or two. But how do manage event planning stress? Dealing with stress as an event planner is a part of our every day. Event coordinators juggle so many jobs under the main job title of “event planner. One minute you might be dealing with pressures from your clients, maybe because of a budget restriction or a last-minute change. Another moment you might be traveling across the country to your next event. Perhaps it’s the actual day of the event that stresses you out, with the timeline not on schedule or unexpected problems that pop up. Regardless of the reasons you are stressed learning how to manage event planning stress is crucial to your success in the industry!
As event planners, we have one of the most stressful jobs in the world. It’s not even a secret anymore! CareerCast.com recently listed event coordinator as the fifth most stressful job. Only a few jobs ranked higher for stress including military personnel, airline pilots, police officers, and firefighters. Most people were probably surprised to see event coordinator make the top five, but I bet you weren’t. It’s a stressful job. Whatever the reason or many reasons you’re stressing, we have been there! But don’t let the stress of the job burn you out, below are our best tips to manage event planning stress. So pull up a chair, and find out how to unwind, relax and de-stress!
Prioritize to Manage Event Planning Stress
As an event planner, you are required to wear A LOT of hats. There are so many components of an event that you are constantly juggling from vendors to your clients, budgets and beyond. So whats most important? Prioritizing what needs to be done can help you when things get tough. Having a clear list to refer back to when chaos sinks in will help keep you focused and eliminate event planning stress. Even if chaos never hits (and we hope it doesn’t!) there are still so many little tasks to keep track of. The “to do list” can be daunting but if you prioritize your tasks you will be ahead of the game. This can be done many ways from simply writing down a checklist to a large CRM. We love the app todoist to keep us on track here at Endless! If you have your priorities straight you will be better armed to deal with stress as an event planner.
Roll with the Punches
No matter how perfectly thought out your event is, there are likely to be a few glitches along the way. When mistakes pop up don’t panic, instead with a clear mind focus on how to resolve the issue. Ask yourself, is the issue something minor you can brush off and everything will be ok? If it is, roll with the punches and let it go. If your tablecloths were supposed to be white and show up ivory will it really ruin your event? Our bet is your attendees will never notice. Don’t sweat the small stuff this is key to managing event planning stress! Even if it’s a large mistake that pops up, most are fixable if you keep calm and level headed. Events always find a way to work themselves out!
Set Boundaries and Stick to them
Some of you know this scenario all too well, it’s 8:30 pm you’ve finally finished work for the day. You’re ready to wind down and settle in for the night. Suddenly, you get an alert on your phone saying you have an email from a client. You debate to check or not to check? That depends on one simple question. What boundaries have you set for your clients?
Let your clients know well before this happens (like the first meeting) when you are available for calls and emails. This makes your boundaries crystal clear and allows you to have time off the clock.
That is easier said than done though! As event planners, we want to do everything we can to make our client happy and the event a success. Because of this, often times we will allow clients to overstep boundaries because we want to make sure they are happy. Don’t do this because you need to be happy too. From the get-go be very clear with clients on boundaries and set expectations. Let the client know your “office hours” and stick to them. Do not answer calls or emails from clients after hours or you will be sending them the message that you are available at any time and your boundaries aren’t important. If clients don’t believe you are serious they will overstep boundaries and expect replies at any given time of day. If you do stick to your rules, they will not expect you to answer until the morning when you resume business. Do you have really tough clients? Check out our guide to how to deal with difficult clients in the event industry.
Carve Out Quiet Time
As event planners we are constantly running around, often juggling way too much. This chaos and stress can spill over into our private life if we aren’t careful. It’s crucial to make time to have quiet time. As event planners, this is a hard one to do, as our minds run through a million thoughts per minute but if you take the time to really practice quiet time it will do your stress levels wonders! Below are some of our favorite ways.
Meditation is proven to help reduce stress. It’s been shown time and time again that taking time out of your day to shut down and meditate greatly benefits our bodies and mind. In fact, according to sciencepeople.com, “Meditation is incredibly effective at reducing stress and anxiety. One study found that mindfulness and zen type meditations significantly reduce stress when practiced over a period of three months. Another study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying. If you want your stress levels to plummet, meditation may be the answer.” Click here to read their whole article!
Read a Book
Take some time for yourself to read a book. Books are a great way to deal with stress as an event planner as your mind finally focuses on something other than your job! A great book will allow you to escape your responsibilities for a while and immerse yourself in another world. According to the University of Minnesota; “A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.” For de-stressing, we recommend you read something that is not business related but something you would enjoy for an escape from the daily grind.
Do Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are calming. You can do breathing exercises on their own or with other relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga. These exercises can slow your heart rate, calm you. They also require you to focus which helps take your mind off your never-ending to-do list and allows you to properly deal with stress as an event planner. After you finish your breathing you will be in a much more relaxed state of mind.
Watch a movie or TV Show
Go ahead and watch something mindless. Cozy up on the couch and binge. Allowing yourself to sit and not have to think helps reduce stress. Bonus if you watch something funny, as laughter is also proven to reduce stress! Try to stick to light hearted shows and avoid anything very suspenseful or complicated when you watch a show or movie specifically to destress. Thrillers can actually add to your stress so they are best to avoid when de-stressing.
We spend way too much time hunched over our computers and cell phone screens. Constantly glued to our technology just waiting for the next notification. Break the cycle and get outside. This is a free and easy way to help reduce stress. Spending time regularly outside is great for our mental health. There are many reasons this is true, from the vitamin D boost, the fresh air, feeling the wind in your hair and more help. Being outside definitely helps deal with stress as an event planner and keep the levels down. So, whether it’s a quick jaunt to your local park, or an epic hike in a remote location take advantage the beauty mother nature has given us and get outside!
Technology is a gift and a curse. We have access to almost anything we need at our fingertips. But, most of us are guilty of constantly checking our phones to see if we have any new emails and social media notifications. Not only is this a huge time suck, it can add a lot of stress to your life.
From the constant news updates to client emails checking in all the time and being constantly plugged in can really create more stress then it’s worth. In today’s world you are ALWAYS connected but you need to unplug. But how? We know it’s hard so ease into it, try to unplug for 15-20 minutes a day. Gradually increase your unplugged time from that. To help during your time you unplug turn your phone on silent and turn off all notifications. With time you may find you do not miss being plugged in and enjoy your unplugged time!
It’s been proven over and over again that exercise is great for us and reduces stress. According to the ADAA “Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.”
Another reason exercise might help to reduce stress are the endorphins released during a good workout. Endorphins bring out feelings of general well being and can make you happy thus reducing stress. So whether you decide to do some yoga or take a jog this is an excellent way to deal with stress as an event planner. Can’t get to the gym? Check out Beach Body on Demand which will allow you to access workouts and programs from virtually anywhere, perfect for an event planner on the go.
Get Enough Sleep
This one is a big one if you really want to manage event planning stress. You can’t do your best work if you are constantly feeling drained. Sleep is a critical and necessary human function. There is no amount of coffee in the world to make it ok to skip sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep it can affect your judgment, mood, and memory. In fact, “Drivers who skimp on just a couple of hours of sleep nearly double the risk of a crash, making drowsy driving about as dangerous as drunken driving.” If sleep has this type of effect on your driving we are sure it has a major effect on your effectiveness at work too. It is well-proven sleep restores your body and mind, so put your head to the pillow and take in some glorious sleep!
Take Time to do Something You Love
It is easy to get sucked into working all the time as an event planner. Not only can this stress you out, but you can also burn out easily this way. Take breaks to do things you love. This allows you to break with the chaos of events and is a great way to deal with event planning stress. So what should you do? The answer depends on what you enjoy! Ask yourself what puts a smile on your face then do that. It could be as simple as baking something delicious. Or maybe you enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. Go to a concert or listen to some music! The options are limitless. By making time for things you love it will reduce stress and help to avoid feeling overworked.
We hope these tips help you manage event planning stress. Next time you feel overwhelmed and stressed try one of these tried and true methods out. Remember to take the time to focus on yourself, even during the busy seasons.
We want to know, what is your favorite way to relax and de-stress? Comment below with your favorite tips and tricks!