There is one challenge that most event planners will confess to having dealt with in their career at one point or another - managing stress. According to the American Psychological Association, stress can manifest itself in many different and innocuous ways. Symptoms like headache, muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability are just some of the early indicators of stress. Fortunately, stress can be minimized and even eliminated using these five tried and tested approaches.
1. Set working hours and a daily schedule
An Event Planning career is very different than other typical 9 to 5 jobs. Inexperienced event planners get carried away, and quickly end up working 12 to 14 hour days, eventually leading to a burn out. Set some rules for your schedule and work only during those hours.
The first step is to organize your schedule and set realistic goals. Here's a simple technique that can reduce stress quickly: Create a task list, Prioritize and Follow through. Don’t try to remember everything – write it down.
2. Get to the least favorite tasks first
Creating a task list is easy, getting them done in time without procrastination is where the challenge begins. Handle your most challenging task in the beginning of the day when you are well rested, thinking clearly and full of energy. Once these tasks are out of the way it will feel a lot less burdensome to accomplish the other things on the list. Never leave the undesirable task for the end of the day when your energy level is at its lowest. Concentrate and complete those tasks that will have the highest impact. By doing this you will clear 90% of the tasks on your list stress free.
3. Don’t fret over things you cannot control
Do not worry and stress about things that are beyond your control - such as the weather or traffic conditions. About 92% of things that event planners worry about are beyond their control. If there are any concerns that worry you make a list of the concerns and in the other column write down plan B. In the instance of an outdoor event, where there is a 40% chance of rain, create a plan B. There is no point worrying and guessing if it will rain or not. If it does rain you have plan B which will go into immediate effect. Do not worry about the baker tripping with the wedding cake thus ruining it. It can happen, anything can happen but don’t loose sleep thinking about it.
Unreasonable expectations of what you're capable of accomplishing are a huge source of stress–regardless of whether those expectations come from yourself, from your boss, or from your customers. The cure for this kind of stress is a dose of reality. Look at how much time you've got to spend, assess the amount of work that needs to be done, and, based on that, be realistic about what's actually going to get done. If you're expected to accomplish A,B,C and D, and there's only time to achieve any two, decide–or force your boss to decide–which two will actually get done and which ones will not.
4. Eat healthy and be kind to your body
Always appreciate the importance of a well-nourished mind and body. Do not skip breakfast, especially on the day of the event. Breakfast is an essential high carbohydrate meal and extremely important to keep your blood sugar levels steady to sustain your mental as well as physical energy. If you starve yourself in the morning it will play havoc with your blood sugar levels. Whole day events will keep you on your feet at all times, so keep some healthy snacks or fruits at hand that you can grab quickly during the event. It does not take a genius to tell you that it is very important to rest and get a good night’s sleep before the event.
5. Create opportunities to unwind
There will always be circumstances throughout your career that you simply can't control: the economy, traffic, politics, other people's emotions, customer decisions, and so forth. Learn methods to release stress by creating opportunities for stress relief at least three times a week. Block off time on your calendar and turn off your cell phone and computer. Meditating, reading a book or exercising are great ways to unwind, relax and release some of the pressure, before getting back into the fray.