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A day in the life of an #eventprof… onsite

According to the most recent survey by  CareerCast.com*, events management is the fifth most stressful profession, behind military jobs, police, firefighters and other life-death careers. Even though this is a poll of US employees, I’m sure as #eventprofs in the UK, we’ve all been able to relate to this stress at some point or other! The pressure of liaising with suppliers, clients and delivering to deadlines can definitely get on top of all of us but equally, that adrenaline rush is exactly why we love what we do! We were recently onsite for a corporate event in London, so we caught up with Project Manager, Erin, to hear all about a day in the life of an onsite event professional… 

It’s set-up day. What’s first on the to-do list?

I usually try and get up at around 5am, so I can shower and get ready for the long day ahead without feeling rushed. Once the team is all onsite, the first thing on the list is to set up our production office so we have an organised space to work from. The client is due onsite a couple of hours after us, so we ensure all the relevant suppliers have arrived and started to install, I meet with the venue representative to do a pre-client onsite run through and then hit the to-do list! Amongst the important tasks, someone always goes for a Pret run when we have a moment, to make sure we all have a good breakfast. It’s sometimes difficult to remember to eat when you’re onsite, so now’s the time for everyone to eat and get some water.

pouring water from a jug into a glass - a reminder to keep hydrated

By midday, the client has just arrived so we catch up, update them with the install process and get them some lunch! For the rest of the afternoon, I concentrate on the install. For this particular event, the AV was the largest part of the install, so most of our attention is on getting this ready for rehearsals to start in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon the CEO arrives onsite, so while the team has divided and conquered to ensure each area is on time – branding, registration, expo etc – my efforts are focused in the keynote room where the CEO has started rehearsing for tomorrow morning’s event opener.

Set-up day is coming to an end – what are your last minute checks to ensure live day goes smoothly?

Once the rehearsals are over, the client team heads offsite, so our evening is made up of snagging and fixing a few last-minute branding issues. We then grab a quick bite to eat whilst the last of the suppliers are finishing up before heading to a nearby hotel before midnight. We always try and stay as close as possible to the venue. Someone from the team checks us in during the afternoon – this way the team can head straight to bed once we’ve finished after a long day.

The view from the venue over London at the end of the day

What is your routine the night before live day?

Once back at the hotel, I usually do some stretching after being on my feet all day – I’ll have clocked up lots of steps! I then re-read all my documents and checklists to make sure I know what’s going on at every single second of the event. It’s so much easier to deal with any issues that inevitably will arise when you are fully prepared and know every detail inside and out. I’ll also take some time to write some notes of any little reminders or actions I need to do when I first get onsite in the morning. Following this, relaxation is key! You need to be able to switch off in our industry – before this event I had a relaxing bath and then got an early night.

So, how did it go? How do you unwind post event?

The event went well and the client is happy – this is the most important thing! Once it’s all wrapped up and all suppliers are offsite, myself and the team head to a nearby restaurant for a pizza and a drink. We’ll chat about how the day went, share any onsite pictures and then a summer favourite is to head home to catch up on Love Island!

What are your 3 top tips for long days onsite?

  • WATER – it’s so easy to get dehydrated onsite. It makes you feel so much more awake when drinking enough. We send reminders in the group chat or even over comms every now and again to make sure everyone is keeping hydrated.
  • Get enough sleep pre and post show – there is no way to avoid lack of sleep onsite but stocking up before definitely helps.
  • Enjoy it! The best way to get through a long day is to actually enjoy it. The lead up to an event can be so long and detailed that it’s worth taking it all in onsite and enjoying the day with the Sleek team and the client.

Events Coordinator is the 5th most stressful job in the CareerCast.com poll. How do you combat stress?

  • Lots of lists to make sure everything that can be done has been!
  • The team: having the right team and support around you is key.
  • A post-event stretch/yoga class and, of course, a glass of wine helps too!

a yoga studio - a reminder to de-stress

Working in events can mean times when the pressure is on but it’s also extremely rewarding and fun. If you’d like to work in events, keep an eye on our social media for job opportunities:

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LinkedIn

Twitter

*CareerCast.com 2019 survey can be viewed here: https://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/2019-jobs-rated-stress

outdoor event

Challenges of outdoor experiential events

As #eventprofs, we know there are all sorts of challenges when it comes to creating successful events. But what happens when you move your event to the great outdoors? The challenges that come with an outdoor experiential event can be endless, but not necessarily detrimental. We asked the team at Sleek HQ about the challenges they have faced and compiled a handy little list below of potential challenges, how to overcome them and things to consider next time you have to use the great outdoors.

1. Permits

Some outdoor areas, such as parks, gardens and other public areas, require you to obtain a permit before ‘setting up shop’ as it were. It’s really important to read up about the venue before booking suppliers, as this could really impact what you are and aren’t allowed to provide. Setting up a gin and tonic pop-up van in a park for a festival-style event sounds dreamy, until you rock up on the day and are met with an angry ranger telling you there is no alcohol permitted and your event is suddenly in jeopardy. Preparation is key!

Festival tents in the dusk

2. Weather

This is especially important when considering AV requirements. It’s all well and good planning a lit-up wonderland for a fashion show, product launch or Christmas event, but when the heavens open and all your open electrical equipment is at risk – the event could be at risk! Make sure everything is covered and the AV supplier has correctly assessed all potential weather risks and has backup plans for every occasion.

This is also crucial to bear in mind for the attendees too – imagine you’re outside at an event and the weather is unexpectedly hot, cold or rainy, and you suddenly find yourself in need of cover for 200 people. Keeping people happy, whether that be giving them shade, warmth or a dry place to sit/stand is a sure-fire way of making them remember your event – if you have thought about things before they happen, this ensures the event runs seamlessly no matter what Mother Nature throws at you! People like to feel looked after – if they feel like you have provided everything they could possibly need and considered how they experience your event, you are more likely to get good press/reviews, even if it was a washout!

Winter Wonderland light display

3. Coordination

Keeping people happy – have you thought about every eventuality and how you can look after people in all scenarios? How are you going to cook and bring out food? Are you going to provide cutlery? Have you thought about what is going to be the most user-friendly attendee experience? You may want to ‘wow’ them with some fine dining, but if you aren’t providing seating, then maybe you need to think of a more creative alternative to ensure their experience is easy and they don’t have a million things to hold.

Interference – if you are holding an experiential event in a public space, then you also need to consider other distractions/interference that may hinder your event. Traffic, wildlife, external noise etc, all need to be considered and a back up plan put in place. It is also worth mentioning security – if the event is ticketed, you may need to hire staff to ensure you have no unwanted visitors!

Special Requirements – you need to make sure there is suitable access for disabled guests, as well as any other considerations you would usually take for an indoor event.

Fashion show runway

4. Equipment

Things we take for granted in an indoor venue/exhibition hall/conference centre are not available outdoors! Make a comprehensive list of everything you could possibly need, even things you wouldn’t think twice about normally. One thing we find we always need onsite is scissors. You never think you’re going to need scissors until you do, and can’t find any! We recommend packing a fully-stocked stationery box, as well as a first-aid kit – not for your client’s guests as that will be supplied separately, but for your own team!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but will hopefully give you some food for thought if you are looking to plan or are in the process of planning an experiential event outdoors. Outdoor events can be tricky and stressful to plan, but they can also be more fun and exciting and really deliver the ‘wow’ factor that is so important for an amazing experiential event.

One crucial thing to remember is an experiential event is an experience – an immersive adventure that aims to bridge the gap between a brand and its consumers, enhancing selling potential by creating a memorable experience. This being said – make sure people remember your event for all the right reasons! We can’t stress enough how important it is to prepare for every eventuality. As the author Howard Huff once said, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” How topical with this week’s weather!

If you want to hear about how we can help you with any element of your event planning, be it experiential or corporate, outdoors or indoors, please get in touch today!

Dinerama in daylight

May’s top 3 experiential venues

Hello everyone – us again! This week in our live experiential blog series, we are exploring our favourite unique venues for experiential events in London.

There are so many venues in and around London that are great for so many different reasons. Whether it’s an exhibition hall in the Docklands, a warehouse in Shoreditch or a hotel in Mayfair, for us, the venue is up there with the most important elements of a successful event. Of course, different events require different types of spaces. The beauty of experiential events is they can be as weird and wonderful as you like, so the more unique the better! Keep reading for our top 3 venues of the week.

  1. Dinerama

This East London gem is a former truck yard with two levels, rooftop areas (with retractable roof to help with our wonderful English weather!) and multiple different spaces to hire and transform into your own experiential activation!

Capacity: 1,000 pax

Location: Shoreditch

Close to: Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations (2 and 6 minutes respectively)

Good for: Brand launches, concept parties, brand installations, summer events, festival-type events, food-based events

Why we like it: We love the fact it’s a former truck yard – there’s something so cool about dressing up and attending an event in a space that was once used for something so completely different.

Shows the capacity of the venue with a crowd of people

  1. The Conservatory, Barbican

If you want to create your event in the jungle but don’t quite have the budget to get you there, then look no further than this tropical dream in the City. Located in the Barbican, this small but versatile venue sells itself – there’s no end to the amazing and unique events you could create here! It’s also a perfect place to come and sit if you’re at a loose end on a Sunday afternoon.

Capacity: 150 standing

Location: City of London

Close to: Barbican and Moorgate stations (6 and 7 minutes respectively)

Good for: Jungle-themed events, interactive events, product launches, intimate brand activations, unique dinner experiences

Why we like it: This jungle paradise is home to over 1,000 tropical plants and fish. The key to a great experiential event is the element of surprise – this beautiful venue will wow your attendees and is sure to leave them with a unique experience they won’t forget in a hurry!

The conservatory by night with coloured lights

  1. Garden Museum

This striking venue is a fully-functional event space while maintaining it’s artistic and historical influences within a converted church, making it an ideal location for a slightly more edgy or creative experiential event.

Capacity: 320 standing

Location: Bankside, opposite Westminster and the Houses of Parliament

Close to: Lambeth North and Vauxhall stations (11 minute and 14 minute walk respectively)

Good for: Fashion shows, car launches, product launches, interactive displays

Why we like it: This venue is really different because it’s a traditional church space mixed with beautiful gardens, giving you a sense of calm while being slap-bang in the middle of London.

Glass box view

We hope this blog has helped if you’re on the search for a unique London venue – we think these three have great potential to host some incredible experiential events!

We’re constantly on the lookout for up-and-coming venues to add to our little black book so, if you have a suggestion, please get in touch! Stay tuned for the next blog in our experiential series, which will be tackling some of the financial elements of creating an experiential event!

Day in the Life of an #eventprof … a Project Manager tells all

This month we are entering into the world of one of our wonderful project managers, Claire Riddell. Claire joined us in June last year and has made huge strides in the company, working on corporate and private clients. We asked what a typical day looked like for her in the exciting, yet busy, world of events!

My alarm wakes me up at 6:30am everyday. I like to take 5 minutes to wake up and often find myself thinking about what I need to do to achieve my goals for the day. I have a shower, do my makeup and then leave the house at 7:30am to catch the train. On my way to work I like to catch up on the news, but it’s also a good time to get stuck into a new book or a podcast! At the moment, I’m reading “Everything I know about parties, dates, friends, jobs, life, love” by Dolly Alderton.

Once I get to the office at 8.45am, I catch up on emails while having my breakfast and chat with the girls to see how everyone is. Breakfast is a much-needed coffee and some porridge with fruit, which sets me up for the day. Around 10am, we usually have a team meeting to discuss a pitch for a client or a status update on any upcoming events we are managing. With the telephone constantly ringing and the ever-changing events industry, my day doesn’t always go to plan, but this is what makes no two days the same and keeps me on my toes.

Next, I have several catch-up calls with clients and suppliers, to touch base and update them with progress and details. Other typical tasks include researching and sourcing venues if we have a new brief, managing budgets and nailing down the finer details of an event to ensure our client is the happiest they can be.

I do always try to make time for a decent break at lunchtime. I like to walk into Richmond and grab something healthy – my favourite lunch in this cold weather is a nice warming soup. After lunch, the day always seems to fly by so, to make sure my days are as productive as possible, I spend half an hour at the end of each day planning and writing a ‘to do’ list for the next day.

My job also involves attending networking events once or twice a week, which helps to keep me up to date on event trends and meeting other #eventprofs. Sharing experiences and learning from others is something which I value very highly, and it’s also a good excuse for a drink or two! If I’m not going to a networking event or meeting up with friends, I often spend my evening keeping myself fit – a spin class is a favourite. After the gym it’s time to wind down by watching a documentary with my flatmate, making some dinner (salmon and roasted veg – yum!) and enjoying a glass of red wine.

Working at Sleek Events has been amazing so far – the people, the office and the clients really make it such an exciting and rewarding way to spend my days. No two days are ever the same in the world of events, which is something I really enjoy and keeps me on the look-out for the next challenge!

Christmas in Copenhagen

Did you think Christmas was far behind us? Well, we have one last opportunity to reminisce! It’s no secret that no one does Christmas quite like the Scandinavians. Our marketing and events coordinator, Izzie, was lucky enough to experience a taste of Danish Christmas and the cosiness concept of ‘Hygge’. We caught up with her to get the lowdown on all things Copenhagen!

When I received an exciting invite from the Copenhagen Convention Bureau to fly to Copenhagen for an educational trip, I was practically jumping with excitement. I’d never been to the Danish capital before but had always wanted to visit as I had heard it’s a beautiful fairytale-like city with amazing food and traditions – especially at Christmas.

Nyhavn’s classic example of Copenhagen colour

On the 12th December, I made my way to a private lounge at Heathrow, where I met the other lovely #eventprofs I would be spending the next couple of days with. After a short and comfortable flight, we landed in Copenhagen and were whisked straight away to the jaw-dropping AC Hotel Bella Sky – which is an incredible event space to say the least. We were treated to a beautiful dinner at the rooftop restaurant Sukaiba – the food there is a Danish-Japanese fusion and just to die for! We then headed back to our hotel – the Marriott, which had gorgeous views of Copenhagen across the water.

After a restful night’s sleep, we enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast before embarking on our extremely well-organised, action-packed day. We were led to a heated boat for a peaceful canal tour, complete with fairy lights and hot chocolate. This included a visit to the iconic Little Mermaid, before eventually stopping at the breathtaking Copenhagen Opera House.This is a beautiful event space and we were treated to an exclusive private performance by Gert Henning Jensen.

Copenhagen Opera House

Next, we were led through the city to Hotel Phoenix, where we had a great time decorating Christmas cookies, before feasting on an exquisite Danish Christmas dinner at the Michelin Star restaurant The Standard. Thankfully, we then had an opportunity to walk off all the food with a charming walking tour through the city courtesy of Hadler DMC, stopping at Amalienborg (the Royal residence), the famous colourful street Nyhavn and other landmarks, before being taken to yet another exciting Christmas craft activity of paper heart making, alongside a warming cup of tea and cookies. A minibus awaited us to whisk us to our final christmas craft activity of the day – candle making at the event venue Oksnehallen which was not just educational; it provided me with a nice homemade christmas present for my mum!

Hotel Phoenix

After some chill time (and a nap) at the hotel, we all got dressed up and headed to the most beautiful Christmas display I have ever seen at Tivoli Gardens. We were served a wonderful traditional Danish dinner here (with lots of wine to boot!) and then left to our own devices to enjoy the park in all its dazzling glory – this took the form of drinking lots of mulled wine (or, as it’s locally known, Glogg) and going on all the rides. Tivoli Gardens should seriously be on everyone’s bucket list – it was absolutely stunning and an evening to remember.

Tivoli Gardens

The following day, we all woke up and walked off the (slightly) fuzzy heads with another walking tour, this time by Copenhagen This Way. This led us to our next site visit at the Skt Petri hotel, which taught us how to make Danish doughnuts, before we then visited one of the most unique hotels I have ever seen – a meat-themed hotel in the meat-packing district. This hotel was actually very beautifully designed and had some great meeting spaces. We were treated to yet more Danish sweet treats here before enjoying some lunch and beers at a local brewery. Our last site visit was the Park Inn Radisson, which has a handy airport location, and involved a mulled wine making activity and treasure hunt.

Park Inn Radisson

One of the things that struck me about this trip is how welcoming everyone was and how much they want to show you their traditions and love of making things cosy, or ‘hygge’. In fact, on arrival at the hotel on the first night, we were presented with our very own ‘Christmas Hygge Kit’, which we added to as we gathered things during the trip. I ended up flying home with everything from tea to a beautiful christmas tree decoration and, of course, lots of treats; thankfully we were given a 23kg baggage allowance! The flight home left me feeling like I wanted to move to Copenhagen – it is without a doubt one of my new favourite cities. It was a simply magical trip and I will most definitely be returning, be it for business or pleasure.

Hadler DMC Cruise

To find out more about destinations for incentives, click through to our incentives page or contact us.

Stressed lady

The top 5 most stressful things in events and how to combat them

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of organising your mum’s 60th birthday party or your best mate’s hen do, you’ll know that event management comes a close second to the stress of moving home or shopping on Christmas Eve.

We’ve compiled our top 5 most stressful things when it comes to events and how you can deal with them and sometimes completely avoid them altogether.

1) Shoe-string budget

We would all love a luxury lifestyle on pocket change but let’s go back to the real world. If you’ve got a shoe-string budget then you’re going to need to set expectations and plan your event in minute detail. You’ll need to spend a lot of time researching best deals and negotiate every item on your plan.

At Sleek Events, we’re lucky to benefit from bulk-buying discounts and preferred-client prices. Using an agency will come with a management fee but the savings you make elsewhere could make the fee pay for itself several times over.

2) Setting a date

People have such busy lives, one of the most challenging elements of an event project is getting agreement on the date. Your best bet is to set a date as early as possible and come to terms with the fact that not everyone will be able to attend.

We recommend sending regular event reminders including a physical “save the date” promotional item to ensure a good level of attendance.

3) Changing minds

When someone has an idea for an event and you know that they love the idea but their guests won’t, it can be a tricky conversation. Conducting research to back up the popularity of other options is a sure-fire way of convincing someone to reconsider – how great would it be to throw the event of the year?

Events usually have a desired outcome, more than just an objective to hold the event itself – generate enquiries for a product or become the favourite granddaughter. If you can prove your ideas will address these goals, you can influence change.

4) Last-minute requests

Whether the whole event is late in its inception or just one part of an event is changed at the eleventh hour, accommodating last-minute changes can throw you off balance. You can be the most organised person on the planet and the ideal choice to manage an event but there are plenty of people who are not!

If you take on an event, you need to be a ‘yes’ person with a little black book full of useful contacts to make things happen.

5) Supplier slip-ups

Ever got to the point where you think everything is on track and then something goes wrong and it’s completely out of your control? Technical issues are a common bug bear when one wire is plugged into the wrong socket or the electricity is cut off to fix something down the road.

At Sleek Events, we have spent the last few years assembling a core team of dependable suppliers. From lighting and sound specialists to freelance hostesses, our team are loyal to us because we are loyal to them. And in our time as event professionals, we’ve faced many situations which our suppliers have stepped up to provide a sensible alternative such as a vegan cupcake or a power generator!

Our top stressbusters

During an event project, our “must have” list will save you:

  • Spend at least 15 minutes a day exercising – your mind may be exhausted but if your body isn’t tired then you may find it difficult to…
  • Get a full night’s sleep, every night
  • Keep a note pad and pen handy at all times – once you’ve written something down, your mind will be clear to concentrate on the most immediate need
  • Download a calming app – the sound of waves on a beach or birds in the countryside – whatever will create a calming oasis for a timeout. We like Headspace for meditation made simple.
  • Make sure you have a friend on speed dial to vent your frustrations – and ideally, they will be someone who can offer suggestions to help
  • Don’t let an event overtake your personal downtime – if events isn’t your full-time job, use a local coffee shop as an office space and keep home for home life.
guest wellbeing

Chocolate brownie versus fruit salad – guest wellbeing

Healthy options versus event success OR Chocolate brownie versus fruit salad

Can you still put on a memorable event (memorable for the right reasons) and cater to the needs of the health conscious amongst your guests? With the fast-increasing importance of wellbeing, fitness and nutrition, we might instead ask the question, will your event be successful without catering for your health-conscious guests?

As the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) publishes its report on trends in nutrition and delegate wellbeing, we decided to share our experience and advice not only on how to satiate the needs of your corporate event delegates but also for your private party guests too. Here are some of the questions we most often receive from our clients during event planning stage.

Is healthy food more expensive?

Prepared healthy meals and organic produce are generally costly when purchasing from the supermarket but, when bulk bought and prepared from scratch by professional caterers, prices for healthy option menus come in at the same price as any other regular menu. Ask your event manager what menus are available from your shortlist of venues or caterers.

Can one menu cater for all guests?

Whether it’s for ease during a short lunchtime break or for budgeting purposes, some clients consider a single menu to cater for all guests. We recently catered an event with a totally vegetarian menu and even the most committed carnivores amongst the guests were raving about the lunch because of the thoughtful, tasty recipes including well-balanced spices. You don’t need to be afraid of single menus when you have talented chefs behind them.

What actually constitutes healthy food?

This completely depends on the nutritional plan your guests are following. We always recommend our clients ask well in advance. For instance, gluten-free food is necessary for people with intolerances but is rarely lower in sugar or calories that its gluten-packed alternative. So, keep an open mind, a record of dietary requirements and share them as soon as possible with your event manager.

What non-alcoholic drinks can we serve?

Many clients worry that the non-alcoholic drink options are boring for their guests. They are often choosing not to drink because they are the designated driver or have other responsibilities after the event, but that’s another reason why they deserve an imaginative beverage!

We like Time Out’s recent top of the mocks – mocktail that is – The Temperance from Behind This Wall in Hackney. Your gut will thank you for this one as it contains a sour kombucha base mixed with fennel seed, pomegranate molasses and cardamom tonic – great for digestion!

Interested in the nutrition and wellbeing of your guests? Contact our team at Sleek HQ where we have our fair share of vegetarians and meat eaters, tea-totallers and champagne coiffeurs!

5 top tips for event professionals to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle

Get Fit Daly: Fitness & Wellbeing Expert, James Daly, offers 5 top tips for a healthy, balanced lifestyle for you busy people working in events!

 

Achieving a better work-life balance can feel challenging. Especially when you’re constantly trying to juggle so many different things in life.

But nothing will change, unless you do.

So, it’s time to create a little space for what matters most. Some small day-to-day changes can really improve your mental and physical health, fitness and wellbeing.

Here are my 5 top tips for a healthy, balanced lifestyle:

1.Nourish

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Think of your body as a performance car. If you’re constantly putting poor-quality fuel into your car, don’t be surprised if it gives you a poor performance – or worse – breaks down. The same goes for your body. A little more wholesome, fresh food and a little less processed, refined stuff can make the world of difference.

But it’s also important to thrive, not deprive. Make room for some of the indulgent treats that you enjoy because, in the long run, it will keep you going.

2.Move

It could be a quick, early morning run, a light lunchtime stretch at your desk or a gentle after-work evening stroll. Don’t underestimate or overcomplicate the power of exercise and movement. Keep it simple and make it “doable”. Find what works for you because you’re much more likely to stick with something you enjoy.

3.Unplug

It’s easy to find a constant distraction in our modern-day world. Technology is an amazing thing but we could all benefit from spending less time in front of a screen. Try switching off before bedtime. Go for a walk, read a book, have a bath or just enjoy some quality time with loved ones.

4.Meditate

Meditation might sound like it’s not for you but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Thinking can be draining, especially if you tend to be an over-thinker. According to Headspace*, research from 163 different studies suggest mindfulness meditation had an “overall positive effect on improving anxiety and stress”. Just 10 minutes of daily meditation practice can prove beneficial.

5.Prioritise

At the start of this blog, I used the phrase “create a little space for what matters most”. That will only ever come to fruition when you commit to prioritising the important stuff. If you truly value your health, fitness and wellbeing, then you must prioritise food, exercise and downtime. Grab a pen and paper right now, write down your priorities and keep them to hand.

Check out James’ Facebook page for more health, fitness and wellbeing support.

* Headspace is a digital service providing guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training.

How to re-gain your work-life balance and still stay on top at work

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…

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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!

 

  1. 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!

 

 

  1. 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.

 

 

  1. 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.