Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Event management is pretty hard work – any event planner worth their salt is well aware of that fact. It’s a profession given to long, irregular hours, and one which requires deep passion coupled with a seemingly endless reserve of energy. Plenty of event planners speak of working almost constantly, with nary a moment to rest.
If you’re a novice event planner, you might be tempted to believe that this is the best road to success; that the best way to rise to the top of your profession is to toss aside everything not related to it. Unfortunately, you’d be entirely wrong. See, human beings aren’t really made to work ceaselessly. We aren’t made to constantly slave away at our jobs without even considering the notion of taking a break.
Not giving yourself some sort of a break is a surefire way to send both productivity and creativity straight through the floor.
That isn’t to say that the world’s top event planners aren’t hard workers. I guarantee that they are; they wouldn’t be at the top of their field if they were lazy. At the same time, however, they also understand something that most of us don’t: how to relax.
“Some people find it hard to take a real vacation, let alone a day off,” Writes Doctor Barton Goldsmith of Psychology Review. “If you are one of us, know that even though planned relaxation may seem a little counterintuitive, you have to learn how to do it on your own, or it could be forced on you.”
Goldsmith isn’t the only one who insists relaxation is integral to human beings, either. There’s a growing body of research which indicates that our traditional concept of work – that we can get more done simply by putting in more hours – is horrendously flawed. Relaxation not only makes us more productive, but also plays an important role in our physical well-being.
“More and more of us find ourselves unable to juggle overwhelming demands and maintain a seemingly unsustainable pace,” writes author and CEO of The Energy Report Tony Schwartz. “Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less.”
“Time is the resource on which we’ve relied to get more accomplished,” he continues. “But time is finite, and many of us feel we’re running out, that we’re investing as many hours as we can while trying to retain some semblance of a life outside work. But time is finite…although many of us can’t increase the working hours in the day, we can measurably increase our energy.”
The best way to do that, explains Schwartz, is to simply relax. Take a break every now and then, and let yourself ignore your work. Although Schwartz also advises only working in ninety-minute stretches, I’d suggest that this isn’t really feasible for most of us. The important thing, I think, is that one does take a break once in a while.
Now, at this point, a lot of you are probably wondering…how, exactly, does this relate to event management?
That’s easy. If you teach yourself how to relax – just take a breather every once in a while – you’ll find you’re actually far better-equipped to plan out your events. You’ll be a better event planner, and have just a smidge of that boundless energy possessed by so many veterans in the field.
What you do to relax doesn’t even need to be terribly complicated, either. Just take a walk, meditate for a few minutes, stretch, take a nap; the important thing is that you give yourself the occasional respite to recharge. Learn how to do that, and everything else will simply click into place.
Before we wrap things up, there’s one last thing worth mentioning – relaxation on the event floor. The day of your show is probably one of the most stressful periods you’ll go through as an event manager. That means that it’s even more important that you take a breather every now and then, lest all the stress make you go crazy.
To that end, you should make sure you schedule a bit of time every hour and a half (roughly) for you to sit down and take a breather. It doesn’t really matter what you do on this break, or where you go. Again, the important thing is that you stop every now and then to gather your thoughts.
One trait shared by virtually every top event management professional in the world is that they never seem to need to slow down. They’re always on the go; and always crunching new ideas or running some event or other. Thing is, they need to relax just like everyone else; they’re simply better at it than most people. The good news is that with practice, you can be just like them – and your career as an event planner will be all the better for it.
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No industry is perfect. Particularly in a field as fast-paced and fast-growing as event management, there are bound to be a few pitfalls, roadblocks, and growing pains scattered along one’s path.