The habits that’ll make 2018 run smoothly for event profs

Jennifer Davidson, founder & MD of Sleek Events, tells us how event professionals can win in 2018 by forming positive habits. This article was recently published in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine.

Have you broken your new year’s resolutions already? Have you already lost that buzz for life just a few weeks into the year you planned to be your best yet? I’ve spent the last couple of years ensuring my team at Sleek Events enjoy a wellbeing at work which can often evade people working in our busy industry.

The early bird…

Start as you mean to go on because we all know we can easily be distracted by emails and phone calls throughout the day. I read Hal Elrod’s book ‘The miracle morning’ which focuses on ‘Live S.A.V.E.R.S’ that will transform your life all before 8am. Things like committing to make your bed each morning or starting your day with a short yoga routine all contribute to creating positive habits which put you in an organised, productive frame of mind before you even reach your workplace. I really recommend you read the book and not only carry out the ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ but also add a few of your own habits you have been meaning to start. Even on a morning when you have a lie in, you’ll find you’ll want to keep to your habits but maybe before 10am!

What are my morning habits? As well as Hal’s Life S.A.V.E.R.S – silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing – I have also added a couple of my own – gratitude and dreams. All-in-all they can take as little as 8 minutes to complete if you choose yoga as your exercise but I often extend that to around 20 minutes with something a bit more high tempo. Taking 5 minutes to sit in silence, clearing my thoughts, I then move on to reciting some affirmations which could be about my personal life or work goals. Finally, I visualise those goals as complete, consider who I have to thank and what further dreams I might have. I then take 15 minutes to get my body moving and my blood pumping, often choosing a HIIT workout from Kayla Itsines. Now is a great time to cool off and read a chapter of the latest book on my hitlist ‘Work Smarter: Live Better’ by Cyril Peupion for professional development which sets my mind into work mode. I’ll often implement what I’ve read if the opportunity arises during the day ahead.

Sharing good habits

My team at work have a wide range of habits to fit their own goals and personalities. Wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit are all just as important as each other and, I think, even more important in such a stressful career as an event professional. A survey in the USA put event coordinators as having the 5th most stressful job after the military, firefighters, pilots and police officers! The list, by US recruitment site CareerCast, states that whilst those working in our industry aren’t at risk of death or physical injury, they must adhere to strict deadlines and pressures to perform which go beyond even those in top corporate positions.

I’ve not been able to find the same survey in the UK but I’m happy to put my reputation on the line and say that I doubt our results would be too dissimilar here – I think most people who go into a career in events are motivated to deliver and, usually, exceed expectations. My team here certainly strives for exceptional experiences for our clients.

Forming habits

I love exercise and I know that in the first two weeks of January, my gym will be crammed with new members but they soon disappear because they haven’t gone about forming the good habit of attending the gym in the right way. They key to making something a part of your routine is to start small. If these new gym members had committed to just 30 minutes of exercise twice a week instead of an hour every day, they may have managed to make it fit into their lifestyle – and then slowly worked up to more. You’ll notice my 8 habits before 8am tie in nicely with each other and they work for me – but I appreciate spiritual affirmations aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so do what works for you!

As you experience the results of the small habits you start, you’ll be motivated to do more – essentially, your willpower grows with positive endorsement. And why did I introduce my team to the idea of forming good habits? Well there are two reasons. I knew it would improve their wellbeing, creating a happy and more effective workforce (my dream team) but it’s also much easier to stick to your good habits if you surround yourself with people doing the same!

And the results? My team are achieving great things in both their personal and work lives and, importantly to my business, resulting in 100% staff retention where the average for agencies in general is 85%. Sleek Events has grown to £3million turnover in two years with a team of 6 who are a pleasure to work with.

I’ve always said that if you have to go to work every day, why not do something you love with clients who appreciate you. Wellbeing is a large part of that and forming good habits impacts greatly on your wellbeing. Are you ready to make a lifestyle change which will improve your life forever? You’re the most important person on your to do list so make sure you put yourself first.