There are two types of time: clock time and real time. The former never changes – there are always 24 hours in a day. The latter is relative – how much time you feel you have in a day. This is influenced by how busy you are and how much you enjoy what you’re doing. A busy event planner will know exactly how time seems to speed up the closer one gets to the event date. Managing your time requires you to manage real time (clock time can’t be managed). Here are our most effective time management tips:
Conduct a time management audit
Before you can start expertly managing your time, you need to know exactly what it is you spend your time doing over the course of a week. Needless to say, there is no such thing as a “typical” event planner’s week, but while every event involves different tasks, there will be some common tasks that you can identify. Write down what you do and how long it takes you. If calling prospective venues takes roughly two hours, the next time you plan an event you can allocate a couple of hours to that particular task. Remember: always allow for extra time.
Always schedule less things in a day than you think you’ll be able to fit in
Unforeseeable scenarios emerging throughout your day are inevitable. Giving yourself some leeway and gaps in your schedule gives you time to tackle those unexpected tasks and account for jobs that take longer than expected.
Prioritise tasks that produce results
As satisfying as list making is, to-do lists have no logical end – there’s always something you can add to them. Figure out which activities produce results and plan time for these over the small things. Be brutally honest about what you actually need to do, not what you think you need to do.
Allocate a set duration for each task
When planning the tasks we have to do in a day or week, our intention is to get them done in one sitting, isn’t it? But this isn’t good for time management, as our tasks always take longer than expected. Instead, decide on how long you’ll spend on a particular item and let go of the idea that it has to get completed in one go.
Remind yourself that you’re human
No matter how excellent your time management is, there’ll always be days when you don’t get everything you planned done – and that’s OK. Rather than quabble about what you’ve achieved on a daily basis, try and see whether you’ve achieved your most important goals over the course of a week.
Let the phone ring
It’s tempting to jump to answer your phone the moment it rings or open an email the moment you get a notification – especially in the pace-driven events industry. These countless interruptions can severely hinder your ability to get other important tasks done and throw a spanner in the works of your time management. Check who’s calling, and only answer if it’s urgent.
Reduce screen time
If you added up all the hours you spend fruitlessly looking at a screen, you’d probably be shocked. Those couple of minutes here, couple of minutes there add up. Set yourself some time aside to check email and peruse Facebook or Twitter and stick to it – those extra minutes or hours you’ll gain back will do wonders for your time management, not to mention your state of mind.
Get some help from an automated RSVP system
Technology can be a distraction, but sometimes it can help us save hours every day. An automated RSVP system is one example of software that quickly performs tasks that can easily take us half a day to complete, and without any human error either. Manually updating guest contact information, managing guest lists and sending out SMS reminders are just a few of the tasks RSVP Management Software can do for you.
Download our Practical Guide to Professional RSVP to find out how Event Management Software can give you more time to plan your next event.
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