Mapping It Out: Time Management for the Busy Person
March 3, 2015
We are wedding and event planners, but we are also human. Therefore, we do have families to take care of, friends to spend time with, social lives to upkeep (or at least try!), career development to consider, administrative work to take care of, houses to maintain, food to prepare, errands to run, personal emergencies to put out… etc. etc. etc.
Most of the time, I personally get asked the question: how DO you manage to do everything?
After years of practice, juggling and negotiations, I have learned to develop a nice balance between the two - planning events and still being a great colleague, friend, daughter, sister and wife. Come back to me in about 2 years, and maybe I’ll add “mother” into that mix, but not yet!
And from all my experience in managing a pretty full calendar (it’s super colourful and actually quite beautiful to look at), here are my general tips:
Note: For you brides out there that are trying to make the wedding happen on your own - this will probably apply to you.
1. You can only control your own time - but you have to consider everyone else’s. Just because you know YOU will be on time and prepared, it does not mean that they will be. Always leave about 50-70% grace period for yourself, and for others, to fall into in case you need it.
2. Do not overbook. A classic mistake is when you want to please everyone so you pack everything in tightly - knowing that there is a possibility for disappointment. It’s far more professional (and respectful) to give everyone the appropriate amount of allotted time, as opposed to giving them all minimal time packed closely together.
3. Prioritize carefully. If there are things you have to do for tomorrow, but you are working on things many days from today, then you have to reevaluate. Refocus, take care of things that are more urgent, and then work on things that are days out.
4. Find a system that works. I cannot tell you how important this is. If you are a Google calendar person like myself, you need to work that tool. If you are a paper and pen person, work that tool. Doesn’t matter how you do, but make it consistent. Schedule in appointments AS SOON as you hear about them. Make reminders for yourself AS SOON as you think about it. Refer to the calendar AS OFTEN as you can. This will keep you on track.
5. There is never “too much time” to be proactive. The moment that you say, “Oh I have so much time between now and then to do this” is the moment where your pro-activeness is lost. Plan ahead. If you have some downtime, look ahead on your schedule. What is coming up? What will I have to do soon in order to prepare for that? What am I doing tomorrow that might prevent me from preparing sooner? Will this turn into a last minute thing if I don’t take care of this now?
These tips may all seem a little militant, but believe me, they work. And for me, it’s given me the lifestyle that I can still enjoy with the people I love, and where I can enjoy my job and the clients I work with!