I have to admit that busy season keeps me a little more attached to my office than usual. Between speaking engagements, weddings, and networking events, I find it hard to tear myself away from my work or put my phone down and leave it alone. We’re all guilty of it, but understand that burn-out in the event industry is a very harsh reality, and it can affect your productivity and your business tactics in the long run. Taking small steps to be present in your life outside of the office will save you monumental stress and maybe even some wrinkles.
Unwinding after COB
My number one tip for unwinding at home after a long work day is simply this: turn your email off on your phone. At some point, you have to leave work at work, and if your phone is constantly dinging with emails after-hours, you can never truly unwind. This is a lifesaver for me and cuts out any distractions, even if it’s just for those few hours before bed. Until you hit busy season, you don’t realize how important that downtime is.
It’s crucial to sit down and have ‘the talk’ with yourself – meaning when you’re willing to work and when you’re not. Many of us are business owners, and we sometimes take that to mean we need to work 24/7, but that’s not realistic. Try time-blocking out your day and then whatever you don’t get done will get plugged into the next day. Carrying a project into the next work day doesn’t mean failure or poor time management, it just means that it’s crucial to step away and turn off your work brain at some point.
When you’re juggling ten different things all at once, it’s easy to feel as if organizing your priorities outside of work is out of the question. But at the end of the day, family time definitely needs to be a priority, as does time for yourself. If you’re finding it impossible to carve out time, schedule it into your day. I’ve become conditioned to live by my calendar, so if something isn’t on task for my day, it doesn’t get done.
Separating your home from your home office
If you’re someone that works primarily from home, I’m not the first to tell you that it can be difficult to step away from your work setup. Here’s where those boundaries come into play – you need to set limits for yourself, and what I like to call a ‘hard stop.' Whether that’s sticking to 9 to 5 work hours or mapping out your day with a strict to-do list, make sure that you’re not overexerting yourself. It’s more than okay to overwork as you would in a normal office if you’re pressed to meet deadlines, but blocking your time is going to help prevent you from needing to stay up all night.
A great way to maximize productivity and get your mind ready for the work day is to physically get ready. If you’re working from bed in your pajamas instead of following a routine to get up and work from an in-house office or even a kitchen table, it’s easier to blur those lines because work doesn’t quite feel like work if you’re lounging.
No matter where you are in your career or how big your goals for yourself are, everyone deserves a break. Manually plugging downtime into your calendar is still downtime, and you’ll be grateful for the self-care and the extra stamina!
Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.