There are many articles out there about how you need to maintain a good work-life balance whether they be backed by mental health stats or advertising the latest yoga fad. Here’s the thing with those of us that work in events, we might want a healthy work-life balance but we can’t afford to drop the ball on our projects. So, here are a few things to step back, have a cuppa and consider…
- Set boundaries and stick to them
However you choose to do it, set timings in your diary for project work, client liaison and so on and stick to them. It might not be realistic to keep all weekend free for family time so allow yourself 20 minutes after you’ve fed the kids breakfast or before you walk the dog to check your email and respond to issues.
Some people call this a default diary. You define chunks of each day for specific tasks and, unless there’s a dramatic issue, you don’t divert your attention from what is planned. If a typical 9-5 isn’t possible for your workload, set timings that are. How about allowing yourself 15 minutes to assess the most important emails at 6.45am and then everything else can wait until 8.45am? Be regimental about it and I promise you’ll feel more in control.
- Don’t be a slave to traditional timings
Since when did a call have to be 30 minutes or a meeting be an hour? Our Outlook calendar loves to schedule things every 30 minutes but how about you aim to claw your time back and only give it 8 minutes for a team update?
If you are looking for a way to control stress levels across the team, I recommend 45 minutes of powering through work and then 15 minutes of total distraction to switch off, even if it’s looking at cute puppies on Facebook or listening to a meditation app!
If you’re craving a day off, how about getting ahead at 10pm the night before with an event schedule. Then you can hit the ground at a suitable pace the next morning and get work wrapped up by midday. Take the afternoon off at a spa – and you can always preschedule some tweets!
- Got wifi, can work
You’d be surprised how flexible bosses can be nowadays. As long as you can prove you are not in your PJs, working from home is perfectly acceptable for an admin catch-up day. If you don’t have a dog yapping at your back door, you can also take client calls from home! The pay-off? Your boss isn’t paying a tired you who has spent 2 hours commuting in when the trains are on strike again!
Talking about getting to work, I’ve started incorporating exercise into my morning routine as it sets the tone for an energetic and productive day. Recently, I’ve been parking in Richmond Park and walking the rest of the way to the office, spotting some deers at the same time!
- Leave work at work
I know it’s tempting, I do it all the time but if you work somewhere that requires someone on call 24/7 then share out the shifts and when it’s not your turn, leave work at work. You can have an on-call mobile and train your team to deal with out-of-hours enquiries. When you aren’t on call, there is no need to check your email, that app or corporate social media channels – just chill out.
- Learn to delegate
You might LOL at the last of my tips but I’m deadly serious, even if you are in an events team of one. If you can’t delegate something at work, choose something you hate at home – the ironing or cleaning the car. Free up some ‘me’ time wherever it might be. I’ve just hired a local PA and I can’t believe the impact she’s had – those things niggling me in the back of my mind that I should have sorted out weeks ago are done. Yes, of course there is a cost but does her hourly rate cost more than what I value my relaxation time? And my garden shed has space to store my bike again!
If you liked these few tips that come from real life and not a theoretical study (or five bods from Harvard) then keep an eye out for our next blog from a bonafide fitness expert.