Preventing burnout is one of the most common tasks that should be on every event planner’s to-do lists. We work hard, and at times too hard. We want to excel at everything that we do. We want to make sure our clients are happy, no matter what it takes. However, there are often times that we find ourselves near burnout. Believe me, I know all about burnout and what affects it can have on your professional life, not to mention your health.
It’s funny because while many of us can call burnout like it is, others try to run away from burnout by ignoring all of the signs. Skipping lunch, missing your workouts, and working until 2 a.m., are all signs that you might be on the road to burnout. It’s true, as planners, we go through some tough seasons of work. Many times, planners use the low seasons to recoup and replenish their souls. However, when you find that you are spinning your wheels season after season with no reprieve, that should be a caution to you to evaluate your situation and make big intentional steps to improve your work-life immediately.
The burnout factor can get very personal and in your face. Of course, you aim to do what you need to do, you have events to plan, and hotels to site. However, sometimes if you care not careful, you start to ignore the signs and distance your family in friends in the process. During these seasons of life we need to make sure that we are intentional about where we spend our time. We also need to set boundaries so that our work and our personal life can stay in place, all in respect to one another. If we don’t, we end up spending precious energy in one bucket of our lives while sucking dry the energy from another one. It’s all about balance.
How do we create balance in our lives as event planners? Finding the balance that you require takes many steps in the right direction.The first step is to evaluate your situation and figure out what type of burnout you are experiencing. After that, applying healthy steps to achieve balance and neutralize your burnout will help you feel a much better.
So, What Type of Burnout Do You Have?
There are two types of burnout. The first one is like an extreme burn. Basically, you are working so hard and moving fast. You are saying yes to everything, but internally your feelings against the work are building up big time. When you start feeling angst, bitterness, or resentful that you’ve taken the task, role or job – you need to deal with your feelings. Operating in this space, with the way you feel, will not turn out in your favor.
The second one is a slow burn. It’s basically like a burn you experience, but you don’t know how bad it is until it gets very bad. You think that you have enough oil to make it through, but you don’t, you end up burning yourself out. It creeps up on you. If you are in this situation, you know that you are working very hard but you just do what you have to do. You keep working. You know you are at the point where you are breaking up,but you try to push past it.
Ten Healthy Tips for Preventing Burnout (and Maintaining Your Sanity)
Sometimes you need to just buckle down and figure out what really puts you over the edge, what your triggers are. Doing this will help you prevent putting yourself into situations that will lead up to your burnout. After you know what your trouble points are, you have to make sure that you are maintaining your work-life balance. Checkout these ten tips that will help assist you with maintaining your balance, and ultimately prevent future burnout.
Prioritize, Set Boundaries, and Set Expectations
Organize your life so that you and everyone else knows what your expectation are. If you have a family, make sure that your family knows your expectations. This may mean making sure that your family knows when you will be coming home and giving them 100% for the evening. It can also mean that you don’t answer work emails past a certain time in the evening. When you set boundaries, then after a time people in your life will tend to figure out and abide by your boundaries.
Schedule your meetings how you would like to have them. Be creative. If you like to have a portion of your day dedicated to strategic projects, then schedule it. If you like to do all your emails in the morning, then schedule it. However, make sure that you stick with your schedule. Scheduling smart will help you be more productive as a whole, while balancing what is on your plate.
Working Out and Eating Right
Speaking of scheduling, make sure to schedule time in your day to work out, and eat properly. Everyone knows that eating right and exercising is the best way to a better life. It also helps to prevent burnout as well. Making sure you eat healthy fruits, vegetables, and meats each day and walk for 30 minutes will put you on the road to freedom.
Just Say “No”
There is an art to saying no. Sometimes learning this art will help save you lots of time to be more productive in the area that you want. Being in the service industry, sometimes it goes against our better judgement to say no. Yet saying no can be necessary to say no to get to the next level. Perhaps instead of saying yes, you can get the person an alternative connection to completing their task instead of doing it yourself. Evaluate how you can use this to help alleviate yourself of some unreasonable task or projects that aren’t relevant to your ultimate goal.
It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert. Sometimes you just get tired of being around people and your “to do list”. Finding time for you to do absolutely nothing, or a little “you” time is a great way to prevent burnout. Get time to yourself, to relax, and clear your head, This can really reset you and create space for you to be more creative, and ultimately make you more balanced.
Gain some perspective on your situation by getting away and changing your environment. Many times getting out and doing something different can be key to you gaining freedom in your situation with burnout. Working yourself around the clock will only burn you out, so once in a while get out and get away.
Have you ever taken a vacation and still carried your work phone to make sure you didn’t miss anything important? This really doesn’t help you to disconnect you from your place of work – I know for sure it doesn’t for me. There is something mentally relieving with turning off and just simply tuning out of your workplace. Continuing to stay connected to your work, then doesn’t allow you to explore other possibilities in your life like your hobbies and building relationships. I also find that after taking time off without tapping into work, I’m more productive and innovative at my workplace for my employer and clients. Try to start to create boundaries, and turn work off and tune it out at the appropriate times.
Give To Others
There is something fulfilling inside your soul when you give to someone else. Especially when you give to someone fully, and not in expectation of anything in return. When you need a little replenishing or just to simply feel that something you did was good, try to give to others. I found that id doesn’t have to be extravagant, as the simplest gesture can bring the most joy.
Ask For Help
When you know you are on the road to fizzling out, don’t be to proud to ask for help. Your direct leader, and colleagues are all there to help you, and the sooner you raise your hand to get some help, the better. Having a lighter load is always good. Also, try to practice delegating like you never had before!
“Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle
When in doubt – laugh. Laughter will help heal things you didn’t feel needed to heal. Turn on a show that makes you laugh and makes you happy or invite that friend over that you can just be you with and have fun. We are all in this industry together, so make sure that you are spreading joy into each others life to help them past one event and into the other!
Do you have any other tips to prevent burnout? Would love to hear what has worked for you. Leave a comment below!
P.S. Check out some of my other posts that will help you keep your sanity!
- Planners, Ease Your Stress with These 10 Easy Tips
- Busy Season Survival Tips for Event Planners
- The Overwhelmed Event Planner
- 5 Ways to Survive the Busy Season
Photo attribution: Dennis Skley via Flickr