Tips On Increasing Your Work-Life Balance
The smartphone revolution has made connecting with people easier than ever. Unfortunately, it also means separating work from the rest of your life can feel next to impossible. This is especially true for event managers whose work hours don’t often conform to a typical 9-5 schedule
While the creation of software and applications to streamline work can ease the life of event professionals significantly (check out The Best Online Tools For Your Event Business), it’s a fruitless convenience if your job is running your life regardless. In the spirit of your sanity, we’ve compiled our tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Find Your Personal Balance
The first truth to consider is that there is no universal ‘perfect’ balance. Individuals are wired differently in every sense, and depending on a number of things, including your personality, physicality, job type and personal obligations, your ideal work-life balance might very well fall on a different end of the spectrum than the next person. When stress starts seeping into your life outside of work (think insomnia, dreams depicting loss of control, sudden physical ailments and relationship stress) it’s time to reassess how work is affecting your life.
To help pinpoint what your ideal balance is, find the distinction between what activities cost you energy and which give you energy. Once you’re aware of this, try minimising the time you spend on activities that cost you energy – whether that be in your work life or personal life. If you can’t stand certain tasks that your job requires, can you hire someone else to do them? Perhaps it means distancing yourself from friends who sap your energy but don’t offer support in return. If it’s an activity like cooking, is it possible to make it more fun or overlap it with another aspect of your life like family or socialising?
One way to maximise your time is to be aware of your most productive work hours. For some people, this might be early mornings and for others late at night. While you won’t always have control over your work hours as an event manager, it helps to be aware of your most productive times and work around them as much as possible.
Regardless of your professional situation, prioritising your health is essential to performing your best in and outside of work. If therapy is helpful to you, make sure you set aside time in your schedule to make it happen regularly. Is there a time during the day when you lose steam or need a change in location to refocus? If you have the flexibility, this might be a good time to break up the day with an exercise class. Committing to exercising is a commitment to functioning as your best self; don’t undermine the importance of a workout, whatever that looks like to you.
An unfortunate side effect of working in the events business is that weekdays can occasionally turn into weekends, especially when leading up to a big event. Making a distinction between weeks and weekends is important to feel like your life outside of work exists. If you must work a weekend, choose one day to get your work out of the way and leave the other free to enjoy time alone or with friends. As a side note, remember that free time doesn’t have to mean available time. Making time for yourself is not being selfish.
If you struggle to differentiate between priorities and secondary tasks, try dividing your work according to The Pareto Principle. The economic principle states that 20% of your efforts create 80% of your results. Divide your to-do list according to this and focus on getting the 20% tasks done and leave the others for Monday.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize
At the end of the day, remember why you do it. If all of a sudden you couldn’t work your job, what would you be left with? Make time for the important things like friends, family and outside-of-work activities that you enjoy.
There is also evidence suggesting that expressing gratitude improves quality of life. In a 2003 study, college students who wrote about things they were grateful for once a week for ten weeks reported fewer physical symptoms (such as headaches, shortness of breath, sore muscles, and nausea) than students who wrote about daily events or hassles. Bring some mindfulness to your day by listing 10 things that you’re thankful for when you wake up each morning and see what happens!