How to balance your work and life as a professional event planner

With spring comes warmer weather, new flowers — and increased business for event planners. With the arrival of summer, people begin holding more events and thinking more about the ones they have planned. While most event professionals welcome the increase in business, it can often lead to longer hours.

Check out these five tips for help on maintaining a healthy work-life balance when the line between the two begins to blur.

Set Specific Work Hours

Flexible work schedules have been praised for letting people spend more time with family, see friends and attend local events. In many cases, though, having a flexible work schedule leads to taking work home. Without defined boundaries on their time, people sacrifice personal time for work-related tasks.

To reduce how much work bleeds into your personal time, set clear and regular work hours. You might not be able to work 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but it’s still possible to have regular (if not normal) hours. Schedule set times for administrative tasks, designate certain evenings or days for meeting with clients, and have an on-call policy for periods leading up to events.

Some event planners are hesitant to do this, because they’re afraid clients will react negatively. As long as work hours and communication policies are clearly communicated, however, most clients will be receptive and understanding of the need for set hours.

Say No to Personal Matters During Work

Once you have set working hours, it’s important to spend the time designated for work on work-related tasks. This frequently requires saying no to personal matters during your work hours. While it’s always important to be reachable in a true emergency, running errands, meeting friends, naps and chatting with extended family should wait until your personal time. If these things take you away from work, you’ll be forced to catch up during your personal time.

Give Yourself Personal and Sick Days

Event planners frequently have a hard time refusing personal requests from family and friends. Having the flexibility to help their spouse with the kids or see a friend for coffee is often part of the reason why people become event planners in the first place.

In order to make sure you can attend the events that are truly important to you, build a set number of personal and sick days into your schedule. Personal days let you take time off to attend a kid’s sporting event, see an old friend or get the car repaired. Sick days are for times when you aren’t well enough to work. Both will help you have the flexibility you want, while keeping boundaries on how much time you spend catching up with people or recovering on the couch.

Slow Down on Social Media

Social media can be an effective marketing tool, and it’s almost impossible to be a successful event planner without having a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or other major platforms.

Rather than spending lots of time on social media, identify your essential social media tasks. Then, either outsource these tasks or designate a set amount of time to complete them each week. Your non-essential social media activity can probably be skipped without impacting your business too much.

Take a Vacation

Finally, make sure you have time set aside to take a break. Taking a vacation provides an opportunity to recoup, rejuvenate and reconnect. With the increase in business that spring brought, you may not be able to take a vacation over the summer. It’s not too early to start planning an end-of-season getaway, though. Having a vacation on the calendar will give you something to look forward to throughout this year’s peak event planning season.

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