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Don’t let your week rule you. Get in charge with easy-to-implement tips to organize your next 7 days.
Have you ever been around someone who seems to have everything together? Even unexpected things seem to roll right off of them and they have a solution for every problem. Most people do not come by this organization magic naturally. The difference between these perfect planners and you may be something as small as “planning to plan.”
Preparation and organization are essential to the success of any event planner but there’s more to these things than just the organization and preparation of your events. You need to translate that into your professional and personal life. Most stellar event planners bring that same meticulous attention to detail that their clients pay them for into their own homes and business and this is what it looks like.
Planning Your Planning: The Best Week Ever
Habits and routines help you do more in less time. A successful planner has a system that works for them. The system will vary from planner to planner as some prefer technology-assisted organization, while others still like paper. Paper may be more inefficient but if it works for you, so be it. Regardless of the tools you use you’ll want to employ the following components:
A Calendar Review
There are two things you’ll track from a business perspective on this calendar – meetings/events and tasks. Using a calendar (or calendar apps) to track tasks instead of using a to-do list means you can see your in-person meetings in the same format as your essential activities for the day. You’re less likely to overbook yourself that way.
Once you have a calendar, perform a Sunday night review. Take a look at your whole week before the zaniness of Monday morning hits. Look at this week’s must do's and any carried over from last week. Prioritize them so you can begin the following morning knowing exactly what must be done first.
It’s a good idea to perform this same activity on a daily basis for just that day. For instance, on Sunday night get a broad overview of your week’s events and to-do list. Then each day either the preceding night or in the morning before everyone else is awake, look at just that day’s events and tasks.
Pencil In “You” Time
There are two kinds of “you” time you need to work into your schedule each week. One is for you personally and one for you professionally. Take some time to schedule things that are important to you personally like lunch with your best friend or daily exercise. You also want to schedule some sort of business time that allows you to set aside an hour or so to concentrate on making progress on your business goals or redesigning an aspect of your business, or contributions to your industry.
Email Finds Its Place
Ideally, your email inbox will be at zero in the beginning of every week because all outstanding issues will either get filed appropriately or translated into tasks. If you’re struggling with this, at least try these email hacks that can bring more organization to your inbox.
Successful event planners find a way to tame the Wild West of their inbox. They have to for efficiency’s sake. It’s difficult to find and keep track of outstanding issues if you have hundreds of emails in your inbox.
As you’re reviewing your calendar, take a look at the inbox. Any outstanding issues should be converted into tasks so you can track their completion. If there’s no action needed, slide them into the appropriate folder.
Once a week, or more often if you’re able, update your budgets for each client. Go over what’s been spent and make sure good record keeping is in place. Communicate to clients any concerns while they’re still small and new.
Schedule Time to Invoice
Successful event planners have time set away for invoicing and payment management. The benefit to having a set time to perform these tasks is that you’re less likely to push it off to another time or forget about it.
Schedule Your Social Media
In order to save time, schedule your social media posts at the beginning of each week but keep your eye on current events. If anything tragic happens you need to pause your streams. Otherwise, the nation could be dealing with a tragedy and your social media accounts are firing off about how fun your event will be. This type of disconnect keeps PR people in business and keeps event planners staring at the ceiling for hours in bed at night.
While it is smart to schedule pre-planned posts, you’ll still need to make time for human interaction on social. After all, it’s not called scheduled media.
Run a Back-up
It’s essential to backup your files to an outside hard drive or the cloud. In order to ensure that this task gets completed, auto schedule something when you know you won’t be working. If this isn’t possible, or if you have a hard time letting go of tasks like this, figure out your slowest time in the week and set a reminder for yourself to do a quick backup. Most systems allow you to continue working as your files are saved. This may seem like a pain but the peace of mind it gives you against the concern over data loss, and your ability to always have the files you need regardless of the device you’re working with, make this activity worth the time.
If there are activities you perform every week that are not on this list, find a place for them. For instance, if you love to send thank you notes, set aside an hour on a Wednesday afternoon to do this. While an event planner’s schedule requires some flexibility due to client demands and unforeseen circumstances, it’s important to schedule as many of your regular activities as possible. This ensures they’ll get done.
Preparation is the mother of efficiency, or at least a co-parent. Taking the time to assess your week and plan the structure will give you a clearer look into the potential stresses and downtimes you have. It gives you a more in-depth vision of what to expect and you can use that information to structure your activities accordingly.