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Productivity and event planning go hand in hand. Successful event planners are very productive. Here are 10 habits of productive event planners you can steal to kick off your week.
Eventprofs and Productivity
I haven't met a single event professional who is not very organised and effective at getting things done. Stories from the trenches range from those who developed their own excel templates to superbly crafted email auto-responders.
The level of practicality needed to get very complex tasks done in a super short amount of time is inherent to our profession. Being productive and efficient helps to relief stress and do more, quicker.
Researching the web for scientifically proven ways to boost productivity, I pretty much encountered the same tips. This is because no matter how different jobs can be, the human brain works in the same way.
So what things do successful event professionals do every day that ultimately boost their productivity? Here they are!
They Prepare Their To Do List The Night Before
Do you know what are you going to do tomorrow? No? Read on then.
In the book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, author Robert Pozen explains how writing down our to do's the night before helps us to keep them realistic and achievable.
I would add that it also helps us to keep us focused on what is really needed without being carried away by incoming emails.
They Never Check Emails When They Wake Up
Checking email continuously is an addiction. It gives the same satisfaction of pulling the handle of a slot machine. That feeling of satisfaction to have positive news or that frustration to read a negative response belong to the same addiction of continuously 'pulling down to refresh'.
In her book, Never Check E-Mail In the Morning: And Other Unexpected Strategies for Making Your Work Life Work, author Julie Morgenstern stresses how checking emails first thing in the morning will mess with your ability to be organised. Emails will control you and your to do list, completely shattering any prep you did the night before.
Dedicating a particular time(s) of the day to check emails and setting up auto responders will help regain control of your priorities.
I must admit I suck at email management so I will be the first one taking Julie's advice.
There is an incredible amount of literature supporting the positive impact of exercise on productivity and in general on our brain. Speaking of which, in his hugely popular book Brainrules, John Medina sums up how exercising makes our brain more effective. This is well summed up here.
If you want more tips about being healthy and improve your event planning lifestyle, check this post out.
They Work in Chunks
Very productive event professionals know that having only objectives does not help anyone. Mission statements and SMART objectives are great, but you have to break it down to details if you want to be great at execution.
Big tasks are very negative for productivity. They suck all of your energy, they feel insurmountable and in result make you unproductive.
We discussed the Pomodoro Technique before and how breaking down big tasks in chunks helps to get more stuff done, faster. So go for it!
They Know Why They Do What They Do
If you don't know why you are doing something, it is highly likely you will be unsuccessful at it.
Strong motivation is linked to productivity and success. Finding motivation is inherent to your work choice. With event planning being the 5th most stressing job out there, you have to live and breath motivation to see your events take shape.
They Get Enough Sleep
The life of an event planner is filled with late nights and early mornings but are you sure this sleep deprivation is helping? Or is it just part of the stressed event planner archetype we can so do without.
Don't you agree? No? Well in that case science says that the longer you are awake, the less you are productive. And you have to agree with science.
They Live by Deadlines
I am always amazed by how some people do not respect deadlines. On the other hand, I always notice that those who impose deadlines and respect them are the ones who are extremely successful at what they do.
A recent study also showed that imposing strict deadlines kills procrastination. Giving yourself limits is essential to feel that pressure that makes you perform.
If you have no deadlines, you have no event.
They Never Multitask
I am not sure who put out the word that multitasking is good for productivity. Probably the fact that the word entails 'more than one task' makes it look good in the eye of the unproductive event planner. Yet quantity is not quality.
Research definitely smashes multitasking. Successful event planners break down tasks in chunks and perform them one at a time.
They Have a Creative Routine
Anyone with kids would know how routines are important to grow and improve your children. However not all routines were created equal. Jocelyn Glei, editor of 99U (birthplace of the amazing conference) collected tips for a creative routine shared by great minds of our times in a book.
Having a routine will highly differentiate the output from not having one.
They Know How to Say No
Productive event professionals are not afraid to say no. They know what the concept of opportunity cost means. Tons of coffees and meetings are useful only if there is an agenda and and an objective. So you have to learn to politely decline.
Productivity guru Darren Hardy explains how your time is the most precious resource you have and learning to say no protects it.
I hope these 10 quick tips will help you being more productive. Even picking one up will make a huge difference.
So while I work on my email management fiasco, let me know what you will be improving!