He’s cute, he’s round, he’s furry and, when put in his hamster wheel, he gallops along at high speed until he’s completely exhausted. While our hamster may be getting some much-needed exercise at the time, he doesn’t really get anywhere, does he? Once done, all he has left to do is fall off his wheel and collapse into a panting heap at the bottom of his cage. Poor guy. It’s the same for us when we get too busy at work. We become the proverbial hamster in a wheel, caught up in an incessant spin, with emails, tasks, calls and urgent requests coming at us from all directions. We move from task to task, chased by our anxieties. But, despite our mad flurry, we don’t really get anywhere. At this point, we need to slow down, take some deep breaths, and implement a few time management skills to ease the pressure from our day.

Like every skill, time management is one that can be honed and perfected

In her recent Forbes article, Lisa Quast suggested the following tips for improving your time management skills:

  •  Document how you spend your time each day and every day, for a week, to find out which activities get most of your attention and energy;
  • Plan your week ahead of time, ranking activities into urgent, important and least important, so that you know which ones to focus on first and to prevent  unnecessary tasks or distractions eating into your time;
  • Decide what time each day you will dedicate to checking and following up on emails and then discipline yourself to stick to these times.

In another Forbes blog on time management, we are recommended the following time-management techniques for reducing spin and stress in your work week:

  • Finish up every meeting by first attending to the tasks that you have been given in that meeting. Don’t put these tasks off for later;
  • Set reminders for items that need to be checked on or seen to in your day;
  • See to personal action items first so that they don’t hang over your head and worry you throughout the day;
  • Unsubscribe from distracting newsletters or distribution lists – the amount of time we spend on deleting emails we’ll never read eventually adds up. Plus, these emails just clutter up our email inboxes.

As far as possible, automate what you can to save time and reduce those stress levels

While not a time management skill per se, implementing process automation wherever possible is a really effective way of keeping the hamster wheel at a manageable spin rate. Event Management Software automates the management of event invitations, responses and registrations, and frees event managers up to focus on other key activities involved in organising their corporate events.

Download our Event Marketing Guide for some more time-saving tips. These include using Big Data to target the right guests for your next corporate event.

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Preparing reams of paperwork, standing in endless queues, and waiting for hours on end to be attended to –  this has long been the order of the day for getting those more mundane things in life done. Thanks to advances in modern technology, however, all these soul destroying tasks are quickly becoming a thing of the past. We can now do our banking, pay our bills and renew our licenses and registrations from just about any location that has the appropriate internet connectivity for our digital devices. This is producing a modern consumer that is accustomed to being continuously on the move.

Time management for them entails using timesaving solutions that are often digital. It’s easy to see how there will soon be little left to slow them down…

Are your event experiences streamlined enough to keep up with evolving technology?

Because time is money, and guests have lower tolerance levels for time-wasting activities, you will need to look to how you can save your guests’ time, while engaging them in your event experience from the get-go.

How are you interacting with your guests before each event? Are you flooding their email inboxes with event invitations and reminders, or are things being done more tastefully and unobtrusively? When they get to your event, are you expecting your guests to stand in long queues to register? Do you require them to fill in forms and sign pieces of paper before letting them into the event? Or, is your registration process perhaps more seamless and effortless than this?

Event Registration Software helps to smooth the invitation and registration process considerably

Using automated Event Registration Software is one way to accomplish a more streamlined event experience that promotes effective time management for both yourself and your guests.

Uniquely designed event invitations are sent to each guest’s email inbox via an online Event Management Software system. Guest’s responses are then unobtrusively tracked and monitored through the same system.

Event Registration Software makes guests’ responses to your event invitations as easy as a single mouse click – so no prolonged RSVP process required for them to complete. Guest’s RSVPs can be automatically received and captured to one system for processing. Follow-up is only then needed with those guests who fail to respond to your invitations, so you won’t waste anyone’s time with an unnecessary phone call or email.

Event access is made easy through the QR code technology associated with your Event RSVP Software

Once at your event, Event Registration Software that generates unique QR codes for each guest allows them to use printed event tickets or tickets saved onto their mobile devices to speedily register and gain access to event proceedings. Personalised QR codes can also be loaded with information about each guest’s meal and dietary requirements, thus serving as a meal ticket. Automating processes in this way is a great time management and time saving trick.

Speeding up the registration and RSVP process frees up more time for you to wow guests at your event

With your event’s invitation and registration process properly taken care of through your choice of event management technology, you can focus on the finer details of pulling off a winning event.

How are those canapes and welcome drinks looking? If you need some additional information regarding upcoming event technology that you can incorporate into your guests’ event experiences, download our Event Technology 101 guide.

Image Credit: www.cprstoronto.com

 


time management software It’s for good reason that the ‘time management’ industry is a multi-million dollar business. Apps, calendars, digital diaries and organisation tools abound – each one promising to help you gain greater control over the measly 24 hours in a day. Unfortunately, mastering time management isn’t as easy as downloading an app. Getting the most out of your work day – when you’re confronted by constant interruptions, an intimidating to-do list and running on six hours of sleep – requires some insight into your relationship with time.

Mastering your time – even if you have a fire drill, lock your keys in your car and have a surprise visit from your biggest client – is possible

While you might feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, there are ways to up your time management skill sand keep your sanity intact. Just like finding the right kind of eating plan – which for one person may be Paleo, and another, raw food only – the tools that work for you will differ from those that work for a colleague. We’ve compiled various time management methods that you can adopt – and then adapt – to suit your needs.             

Use the 80/20 principle to work smarter, not harder

Merely rethinking the way you prioritise your to-do list can be enough to up your productivity and quality of work. By adhering to the 80/20 rule, you’ll be able to determine – at a glance – what to do, when. Making the most out of this principle requires separating the ‘important’ from the ‘valuable’. The 20% encompasses the latter – the projects, tasks and people that are of the most value and should therefore be prioritised. “The other tasks, projects, and relationships (the ‘80’) are not unimportant, but they are less important”,says time management maestro Dr Todd Dewett. The majority of time management issues arise purely because people spend most of their day on the 80%, instead of on the 20%. Dewett advises that no more than 50% of your time should be spent on the ‘important but not critical’ tasks; instead, delegate, automate or outsource these where possible.

Find your ‘Einstein window’ to get more done (better) in a fraction of the time

Coined by Dewett, your Einstein window is the time of day when you’re most alert, focused and inspired. In other words – and to paraphrase Oprah – “the best version of yourself”. For some, this is first thing in the morning – while the chaos of the day is still in dreamland. I know people who swear by their hour alone in the office first thing in the morning, citing these 60 minutes as their most productive out of the whole day. Finding your daily sweet spot may take some trial and error. Take some time to notice when you’re at your best in the next couple of days. This is the time you need to devote to the 20%.

Set boundaries – for yourself – and others – in order to get the most out of your Einstein window

If you take out insurance on a car, a family heirloom or your household contents, but fail to protect the time that’s your most productive, your thinking is flawed. Without setting up ways to protect your Einstein window, you’ll soon lose sight of it, and any semblance of time management will fly out of the window. Bear in mind that your colleagues will have their own list of priorities, which are probably (and should be) vastly different to yours. Respect these, and it will be reciprocated. As Jason Fried, founder of several collaboration-based companies noted in his TED talk: Why work doesn’t happen at work so wisely reminds us: “There are very, very few things that are that urgent, that need to happen, that need to be answered right this second.”; if your colleagues know that knocking on your door between the hours of 10 and 11 is not an option, you’ll have a far higher chance of being left in (relative) peace to squeeze every last drop out of your most productive time.

When these methods are combined with time management tools like daily planners or productivity apps, a more productive, less stressed work day is on the horizon.  

Make sure that the time you’re spending on your corporate events is fruitful by downloading our (free) eBook, Guide to Turning Your Events into Marketing Gold. You’ll learn how to capitalise on your events – without compromising your time management by learning about how our Event Management Software can help you do just that.

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Mastering time management is a crucial aspect of an event marketer’s job. A myriad of responsibilities, coupled with the task of ensuring that the event in question meets its objectives, mean that every single second of the working day counts. An event marketer’s job is no small feat; consider the fact that “a whopping 96 percent of consumers said that participating in an event made them more inclined to purchase a product or service they were interested in” (as reported by the Event Marketing Institute). In other words, effective and efficient event marketing is imperative if you want to turn your an event into a profitable, brand-boosting exercise. The event marketers who consistently pull a rabbit out of a hat, if you will, are those who’ve mastered their time management skills.

Without a firm handle on time management, the success of your entire event – and brand – hangs in the balance

Ensuring that your event marketing strategy is followed to the letter requires a military-esque approach to time management. In a typical day, you’ll have to manage social campaigns, liaise with your event planners and vendors, and ensure that the right people not only know about your event, but are eagerly counting down the days until they attend it.  It makes sense then, that successful, sought-after event marketers who pull off world-class events with aplomb, owe a large part of their success to their ability to manage their time well.

Time management tips abound – but not all of them are feasible when you’re working with tight deadlines and an all-important event looming on the horizon

Besides getting through your to-do list faster, one of the biggest benefits of skilful time management is the effect it has on your state of mind. Running around like a headless chicken isn’t conducive to anything; being able to approach every single project with the required focus is the only way to ensure that you’re putting your all into your event marketing efforts. We’ve published several blogs on time management tips to enable you to stay cool, calm and collected, including doing a time management audit, switching off any digital distractions and embracing smart event management tools.

Implementing effective event marketing on deadline isn’t a walk in the park. The good news is that it’s made that much easier thanks to the proliferation of event technology at your disposal

Today, event planners and marketers have a world of event apps and technology to pick from– all specifically built to make your efforts that much easier. As well as simplifying the process, event tech also aids in time management: a task that once took hours of manual management (the RSVP process, for one) can now be done in a fraction of the time. Because of this, expert event marketers embrace event technology – making their jobs simpler, more effective and less time consuming.

Your time management is only as effective as the tools you use – so choose these wisely

As we wrote in our soon-to-be released eBook, Event Technology 101, not all event technology is a necessity.  Importantly, your choice needs to be determined by your event objectives, any current event management tools you have, as well as the type of events you market and guests you need to market them to. Before investing in an event app or software that’s designed to achieve one part of the event marketing process (social sharing, or finding a vendor on demand, for example), make sure you’re equipped with the basics. In other words, choose event technology that’s able to assist you in the most laborious and time consuming tasks, before shelling out for a nice-to-have-but-not-a-necessity drone.

Make 2016 the year you master time management. Find out about how our Event Management Software enables you to manage your guest lists, conduct on-site check-ins, and collect crucial guest data.

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We’ve written a lot about time management skills lately – as veterans of the event industry, we know that this is a crucial aspect that can dictate whether you fly or flounder. Years of industry experience has taught us that even the best intentions don’t guarantee a job well done. The one thing that can, however, is the quality of your time management skills.  To help you master this, we’ve drawn on our experience (the good and the bad) to demonstrate the right, and the wrong ways to approach the ever-demanding event planning role. Here are our suggestions for getting a handle on your time management skills throughout the day.

Do: Prioritise

We cannot stress this enough! Make a list and populate it in order of importance (we know everything seems just as urgent – but without dividing your tasks up you’ll only end up in a panic).

Don’t: Try to do everything at once

Focus on one thing at a time and finish it. Multitasking has been proven to be ineffective – and can decrease your productivity by up to 40%, reports Time.com.

Do: Get into the mind set of ‘there IS enough time’ (even if it seems like there isn’t)

Your attitude going into the week will determine how well you handle everything asked of you. Before starting your day, take five minutes (yes, you can afford a mere five) to breathe and get into the right state of mind.

Don’t: Start off in panic mode

Effective time management skills rely on your state of mind. Bemoaning the fact that there’s so.much.to.do before the week has even begun, results in a ‘flight or fight’ mentality from the onset. This will automatically see your body produce cortisol (the stress hormone) which besides being bad for your health, sets yourself up for failure.

Do:  Allocate time to switch between tasks

Don’t jump blindly into another item on your to do list – have a breather between particularly onerous tasks before you tackle the next. Get up, grab a coffee, stretch your legs or make a quick snack before taking on your next project.

Don’t: Use a break between tasks as an opportunity to get distracted

We’ve all been there – after spending hours working on a proposal or creative brief, we check our phones or Twitter feed, only to emerge half an hour later, wondering how thirty precious minutes evaporated before your eyes. Whatever you do for a break, don’t give in to the temptation – and time-suck – of checking your phone or social media.

Do: Make use of some kind of calendar or diary

It’s easy to feel scattered when you have tasks saved all over the place. Making use of an online project management tool – like Trello – for example, helps you to visualise exactly what needs to be done, by when.

Don’t: Spend so much time organising your diary that you end up letting other things fall by the wayside

Whatever time management tool you decide on, it should be easy-to-use, requiring a minimal amount of time to input data. Be honest with yourself – will changing the font and background of your planner really help you to get things done? We thought not.

Do: Embrace one of the most powerful words known to mankind: ‘No.’

Become adept at practising the act of not saying yes to everything and everyone. If something isn’t a life-threatening emergency – or not even on your to-do list, embrace the power of saying no. Saying yes to last-minute queries, needy staff or ad-hoc work without adequate notice is a sure-fire way of throwing your time management skills off course.

Don’t: Become so focused on the tasks at hand that you lose touch with your clients

While we’re all for keeping your eye on the prize (a finished to do list!), effective event planning does require some leeway. Be open to changes – with reason – requested by clients, but speak up if they’re unrealistic. Making sure that your clients are happy – while taking your time management skills into account – takes practice. View the required change with a level-head – saying yes or no blindly will only backfire.

Do: Make use of online event registration software

Without the help of a sophisticated event planning tool, keeping your head above water is difficult. By using comprehensive online event registration software that automatically updates guest lists, manages RSVP’s and allows for convenient registration of guests, you’ll cut down on time spent manually managing the process, and free up hours that can be better spent on the rest of your to do list. What’s more, you can increase your email delivery rate by using software that makes use of a white-listing service.

Download our ‘Email Invitations Benchmarks Report’ to learn more about email invitation best practice,here.

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