6 Ways to Decrease Event Planning Stress

In Planning Your Event by Emily CedarLeave a Comment

Although the process of creating, planning, and hosting an event can be fun and engaging, this undertaking can also lead to a fair amount of panic and hair pulling. If the thought of next month’s event seems daunting or stressful, check out the tips below to help you chill out and enjoy the process.

1. Delegate
Know the difference between leading and micromanaging. Stop believing you’re the only one who can do the job properly. Sacrifice some time in the front end to save time in the long run by teaching team members that you trust how to do the things you need done. Embrace autonomy; it’s the number one factor associated with happiness in the workplace.

Take Action
Set clearly defined goals for everyone. Every goal must have a deadline and action steps that will result in the desired goal.

Check in periodically, give positive feedback and accept that part of expanding your team’s skill set might mean making some mistakes. However, don’t punish team members that make a big effort to pitch in and be effective.

2. Avoid Analysis Paralysis
In Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Happiness of Pursuit, he refers to a number of quests upon which people around the world have embarked. One of these included a story from Nate Damm, who spent seven and a half months walking across America. Nate noted, “Execution was easy… Once I got going, it was pretty much just wake up and walk all day.” Break things down to the simplest form and then tackle each step as it comes. You might not be walking across America, but event planning is no walk in the park!

Take Action
Use lists, and check off completed tasks as you go; you’ll feel like a champion when you get to cross them off! Developing the habit of writing things down is one of the success habits that Chris Sauve emphasizes in his Ted Talk, “The Habits of Highly Boring People”. I highly recommend watching this if you’re looking for more ways to automate your workday and reduce mindless decision-making.

If writing your to do’s in a planner is not your thing, Asana is a great project management app that is great for teams and facilitates intuitive organization

3. Complete Your Least Favorite Task First
Your least favorite task is typically the task that is most important or has the highest risk of procrastination. Once you get this task out of the way, things won’t feel so burdensome and you can focus on the assignments that you actually enjoy doing (and be able to enjoy them with less stress!) According to Work Smart’s Gina Trapani, “Being productive is a habit, and if you start every day by accomplishing something important, you’ll get more done than 90% of the people in the office.”

Take Action
Before opening your email, putting on a pot of coffee (heaven forbid), or chatting with co-workers about the weekend drama, tell yourself you’ll spend just fifteen minutes working on that daunting task. Set a timer and start. By the end of the fifteen minutes, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish and how relieved you’ll be to have a good start. The bonus is that once you’re in a state of flow with the task, there’s a good chance you’ll stick with it and complete it.

4. Minimize Stress
This factor profoundly affects the way we perform and guests notice it. According to a study conducted by Dr. Walter Cavert, only 8% of worries are real and legitimate. Although a large majority of you might label yourselves as “control freaks”, accepting the fact that you can’t control the weather or traffic conditions will reduce the number of meaningless and unproductive worries you create throughout your planning process.mountain_of_worries
Take Action
Print out the image above, bookmark this page, or take a mental snapshot of “The Mountain of Worries”. The next time you find yourself thinking the world is coming to an end because your guest speaker spilled a little wine on herself, reference it and move on.

5. Schedule Smart
When planning for a big event, it’s easy for your schedule to expand from the 9-5 workday. So, set some ground rules for yourself. Allocate time realistically, but don’t attempt to cram your tasks into 12 or 14-hour days, as this will eventually lead to a burn out.

Take Action
Create long and short-term deadlines. Long-term deadlines will help you remember the big picture and motivate you based on what you hope to be the grand, amazing outcome. Short-term deadlines assist with organizing and prioritizing your workday, as well as holding you accountable in terms of what needs to be completed.

6. Fuel for Productivity
A fascinating paper in the British Journal of Health Psychology explains that the more fruits and vegetables people eat throughout the day, the more creative, happier, and engaged they tend to be. Stick to the following guidelines, and you’ll not only boost your immune system, but also optimize your productivity and stay energized in crunch time…

Take Action
Make eating decisions before you’re hungry. When we’re in a rush, snagging a cheeseburger and fries feels efficient. You save ten minutes by grabbing and going, but risk losing an afternoon of high energy planning. To avoid temptation, find a fun and easy recipe that you can make over the weekend and portion out throughout the week. Or, check out Buzzfeed’s Easy, Healthy Lunches to Take to Work. In the long run, you’ll save time, money, and meaningless decision-making (see point #2)

 Be smart about your snacks.

Almonds, carrots and hummus, an apple or celery and peanut butter are solid choices. To minimize your risk of running for the potato chips, keep your healthy snacks readily available and in close proximity to your workstation.

 As for beverages, take any and all necessary actions to avoid soda.
Be creative with your coffee if you need a caffeine boost, or if you want something a little lower key, explore the endless possibilities of herbal tea. Celestial Seasonings has a ton of tasty flavors like Cinnamon Apple Spice, or the festive Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. If you’re looking for something cool and carbonated, pick up a pack of LaCroix. These tasty beverages contain zero calories, zero sugar, and zero artificial flavors. They also come in a wide variety of flavors (my favorite is coconut!)

It works in your favor to take care of yourself, even at times when it seems like everything else should come first. In the end, you will be more efficient and produce higher quality work by following these simple steps and keeping your mental and physical health in check. So, have fun with these ideas and get creative with your next event. The most successful people are usually the ones having the most fun!