Everyone agrees that event planning is one of the most stressful jobs on earth.
Days away from home, travelling, site visits, last minute agenda changes and tight project deadlines.
In this post, I’ll share 9 helpful productivity hacks that keep you on track and happy all year long.
Get ready to become a more focused and happier self with these techniques.
#1 Ignore The News
Starting the list with a bang.
This will certainly cause some controversy.
But trust me, I also speak from experience.
Watching, reading or listening to news wastes your time.
The concept of the daily newspaper is kind of outdated and, I’m sure you agree, most of the stuff is depressing, negative & often trivial.
Not saying that you should ditch your daily dose of EventWell or Unconventional, but actively searching for news to keep you informed and up to date is slightly overrated.
If something major happens that you need to know, you’ll find out and hear about it anyway from someone around you.
Instead, focus on the things that are in your control. Focus on things you can action and the things you can change.
#2 Drop Your To-Do List
“To Do Lists are evil. Schedule everything.”
These are words from Eric Barker in his article How to be the most productive person in your office – and still get home by 5.30pm.
And here’s why To-Do lists are so bad:
Most of the things in our lives and jobs are dictated by time:
- You expect a delivery of pre-printed badges. The supplier will tell you how long it takes and when they’ll arrive.
- You’re googling for directions to your site inspection. Google gives you an estimated time of arrival for how long it will take you to get there.
- Your event registration is due to ‘go live’ and you’re preparing an email marketing push.
- The early bird rate expires tomorrow and you need to write social media posts to announce this today.
The major difference between a calendar and a to-do-list is that the calendar accounts for time.
Using a calendar to keep track of tasks forces you to work within a restricted time window.
And once a task is scheduled in your calendar, there is no escape.
Struggle to choose between binge-watching Netflix or working on your event website?
By adding any tasks to your calendar you avoid the paradox of choice. In fact, it forces you to actually complete the task.
To-Do Lists, on the other hand, are often pipe dreams.
The more time passes, the less you feel motivated to give this task attention.
Ditch your To-Do-List and track every important task in your calendar.
#3 Make Use of Productivity Tools
You wouldn’t make Sushi with a spoon.
But if someone handed you the sharpest, most elegant, hand-crafted Japanese Sushi knife, you take it, wouldn’t you?
For tracking time, try Toggl or Yast.
For saving articles to read at your leisure or use for your content marketing, check out Feedly, Pocket or Bear App (one of my favourites).
For managing your Twitter, Facebook & Instagram accounts, there are also pretty cool free (& paid) social media tools available for event planners.
For creating beautiful event websites and registration sites, check out Swoogo.
Equally, if you’re addicted to checking your personal Facebook, try Freedom.
Sick of always forgetting your logins? Try LastPass.
The app securely keeps all your passwords and auto-completes your login forms on the websites you visit. Seriously one of the best timesavers out there.
There are plenty of other awesome productivity out there, so always keep an eye on new tools that help you when planning events.
#4 Eat Breakfast
It can be hard to eat healthy when you’re on the road running that next big conference.
In any case, avoid that daily morning run to Starbucks Coffee for a Cinnamon Bagel. Instead. replace it with healthier options available like porridge, fruit platters, eggs, or wholemeal bread.
Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day, it fuels your body so you can focus on what tasks are next.
#5 Good Habits = Reduce Friction, Bad Habits = Create Friction
What is this guy talking about?
If you’re a person who loves working out in the morning, get your gym bag ready the night before.
If you set yourself the goal of drinking one large bottle of water each day, place it on your desk so it’s easy to reach.
In contrast, if you have a tendency to indulge on Triple Choc Chip Cookies, hide them somewhere in your cupboard where they are hard to get to.
Or, if you’re addicted to browsing through your Instagram feed daily, move the app to the very last app page on your phone.
This will stop the habit of opening it every 5 minutes as it’s not only harder to get to, but also out of sight.
The whole idea here is to create friction for bad habits you want to get rid of and reduce the friction for good habits you’d like to form.
#6 Turn Off Your Notifications
Not saying that some alerts and notifications on your phone can be useful.
But if you have an urgent project like an event coming up, it’s crucial to stay focused, so do this now:
Turn off all notifications on your phone. You don’t need to know that you have 100 new followers on Twitter.
#7 Drink Plenty Of Water
We all know that drinking more water is good for your health and wellbeing.
We also know that most of us don’t drink enough.
Drinking water gives you not only more energy, it also gives you a great excuse to go to the toilet.
Isn’t that a benefit in itself?
You get to use your legs and are not stuck in your chair all day.
Do this now: Grab a bottle of water and a glass. Keep your glass full with water. Refill every time you had a sip.
Interestingly, you’re most likely to drink more water when the glass is already filled up.
It’s all about reducing the friction, remember?
#8 Declutter Your Desk
Clutter can cause mental stress.
A messy desk can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious.
throw away recycle those old paper coffee cups, clear those papers and feel relieved and at ease.
Do this now. It takes two minutes.
#9 Schedule 15-Minute Meetings
The person who invented the default 60-minutes time slots for adding new meetings to the Outlook or Google Calendar has probably wasted millions of millions of people hours.
Just because Google & Microsoft say you need 30 minutes or 1 hour for a meeting doesn’t mean that you actually need it.
The truth is, in most cases, you only need a quick 15-minute meeting or call to get up to speed on things.
So don’t be a calendar-default deadbeat and pick your meeting duration carefully.
What do you take away from reading this? Thanks, by the way.
Although, these tips look pretty easy to implement on paper, building a lasting habit can take time.
Don’t beat yourself up and don’t be afraid to start with baby steps in your productivity journey.
If your goal was to run a marathon, you wouldn’t run the full distance on your first day of training.
Make sure your goals are aspiring, yet achievable. Once you meet your productivity goals, create new ones and raise the bar slightly.
You’ll be amazed how little tweaks in your productivity can lead to increased happiness and satisfaction.
About The Author:
Carsten Pleiser is a CIM qualified digital marketer with over 10 years working in sales & digital roles within the B2B events and technology space. Carsten runs content & growth marketing for Swoogo. He is a fully qualified personal trainer, an ambassador of healthy living, a passionate surfer, skipper and first-time dad.