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How wonderful would it be to find an extra hour or two in your day? What if I told you it is possible to create this extra time? No, we aren’t pushing the clocks back, but these 12 tips will set you up to increase your productivity, do away with wasted time and seemingly put more hours back into your day.
Develop Positive Routines
Routine is a wonderful tool in making you more efficient and more effective in your work. However, it can be hard to stick with routines since almost every day is different as an event manager.
Try to developing positive habits and abide by a schedule when you can. Even small things like returning messages during set hours in the day, will free up other time on your calendar and help you to stay focused. Little changes to your routine will make your work seem easier and less frantic.
Start the Day Early
Waking up earlier is very simple to recommend, but not the easiest thing to do. With a little adjustment and extra effort you can add an hour or so to your day and make a big impact in making your day more productive. Start out by waking up 15 minutes earlier each week, increasing slowly but surely to a full hour over the course of a month.
Try doing something you enjoy or a task that motivates you early in the morning like working out, preparing a healthy breakfast or writing in your journal. Before you know it you will become adjusted to the new time and my guess is you will begin to enjoy the productive start to your day.
Adjust Your Work Hours
Some of us are naturally more productive in the morning, while others might be night owls. Whatever hours work for you is when you should schedule the majority of your work. Sure, you will have early morning and late evening events, but when it comes time to buckle down and do the busy work, pick the time that suits you best.
Set Official Office Hours
Event planners who manage their own business or get to be their own boss, have a large flexibility in the hours that they work. But, many times this leads to working at all hours of the day, often times finding it hard to “clock out”.
If you are finding this type of situation, try scheduling some official in office hours, just like you would have if you reported to an office each day. This will give you dedicated, non-negotiable time where you can focus on the work that needs to be done.
Automate as Much as Possible
Everything from email marketing to social media can be automated these days, so you want to be sure you are taking advantage. Look at all of the tasks you have to do in a day and figure out which ones can be arranged or scheduled in advance. Once you set some of these automations up, many tasks will be set and ready to go without any added work!
The pomodoro technique involves working in small very productive chunks that are divided by a short break. The idea is that you become more productive knowing that you have a break approaching soon. It is also a big help in encouraging you to get up from your desk, chair, couch, etc. and move around. Using a tool like this online timer can be a new and different way to get work accomplished, while strategically breaking up your day.
Check Email Less Often
Checking email can be a major time suck. On occasion, we all find ourselves becoming a slave to our inbox. Most of us probably get a little too excited when we see that new mail alert pop up. What could it be? Who needs me? How promptly can I respond?...
To become more productive, try checking email at certain points in the day, such as once early and again near the end of day. This can be tough and might require you to log out of your account, since we all know it can become a habit to randomly pull up your email or react to the little alert on your phone.
By checking your email less often you will be strategic in your responses and you will have a dedicated time to respond. This will increase your ability to accomplish other tasks since you won’t interrupted every time an email arrives in your inbox.
Multitasking used to be a requirement for successful event planners, but lately it has become a bit less popular. When you are multitasking you are essentially giving each task less than 100% of your effort and potentially missing important details.
While onsite at events it is virtually impossible to avoid multitasking, but when you are doing pre- or post-event business, you should try focusing on one project at a time to increase the quality and efficiency of your work.
Turning off the TV, email, WiFi, phone may seem like a crazy idea in the uber connected world that we live in, but from time-to-time when you need to work without distractions you should try going an hour or two completely unplugged. Tasks like writing, editing, design or anything that needs a critical eye are all items that you could accomplish while disconnected.
Hire Proper Support
As much as we all try to be EventProf superheros, there comes a time when you need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for or hire this help to assist where you need it.
Learn to delegate the tasks that are time consuming or that you don’t enjoy. There are plenty of great people looking for internships, part-time or entry level jobs.
You could also utilize freelance websites where you can hire people for a one time or recurring projects. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork normally have affordable and fairly reliable freelancers for hire. Be sure to do your homework and make sure the person is a good fit for your project, but don't be afraid to spend the money when you need assistance.
Seek the Help of Volunteers
Volunteers are such a big help for event planners! Seek out volunteers who can help you accomplish large projects that are time consuming or labor intensive. Having a large group can make these projects fly by and save you time, energy and money.
Analyze Your Time
If you feel like you are struggling to keep up with your work or productivity, you should try analyzing how you spend your time each day. You may notice patterns like watching too much TV or spending unproductive hours on social media. Keeping a journal or using a time tracking program can help you see where there might be room for improvement in your utilization of time.
Unfortunately, the time we have in each day is limited and we must find a way to make the most of every hour we have. Being intentional and focused with your time management will go a long way in your success and your career as an event planner.
Do you have other tips and tricks that help you to be more efficient? Hopefully the steps above will leave you feeling more productive than ever before!