Reduce Meeting Planner Fatigue
Is the meeting and event profession leaving you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Thinking about trading it all in for a traditional 9-5 PM? (joking). We chose this profession for the unconventional hours, the variety of work and most importantly the love of people. Keeping strong mental health is important in any line of work, but due to the nature of our business, it is becoming increasingly important to recognize the signs of fatigue and burn out for yourself and your team members. Having worked on a variety of projects including Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Special Olympics, Toronto International Film Festival and now in Corporate meetings and events, stress management has become a part of my everyday life!
Here are some practical tips to avoid burnout for you and your team!
Take care of yourself
This can’t be overstated! Sleep and exercise are super important not only to your general well being, but especially important when you are exposed to long days and likely too much caffeine. If you are organizing a large multi day project, one recommendation is to use one of the hotel rooms for staff who are working long hours to decompress. This can be for a short 20-40 minute nap to recharge or just a quiet place to relax and restore! Mindfulness Meditation likely deserves it’s on heading, but because not everyone prescribes to it, I will include it here. Mindfulness Meditation has grown in popularity, and rightfully so. Meditation has been described as exercise for your mind. Have you tried getting back to the gym after a month off? The same principles apply to Meditation and it should be a part of your daily routine!
If you are planning a large multi day event, it is important to provide adequate breaks and shift rotations. This is especially true when working on a large project involving many staff or volunteers. Depending on the positions, rotating volunteers every 2 hours to a new position helps reduce fatigue, increase stimulation and encourages a more positive attitude.
As a leader, especially in the meetings and events world, you must learn how to delegate. I learned this the hard way. Taking too much on left me feeling stressed and burnt out and inevitably accomplishing less than I had originally planned. When hiring staff, I try to hire people who are not only smarter than me but have a great work ethic. Not only can I trust them with executing a great event, I can count on them to share great ideas and help accomplish the organizational and team goals.
If you are a planner, you probably already know the importance of staying organized. Outlook is my best friend! With the increased number of organizational apps such as Evernote for staying organized there is no reason for too much to slip through the cracks. I still find myself using traditional notepads for my “to do” lists and meeting notes. With so many competing priorities, it is important to stay organized, stay healthy and most importantly enjoy what you are doing!