Up to Your Neck in Work?

In another life, it fell to me to organize a convention for about 200 people. Organizing vendors (one of which ghosted me until two weeks before the show), presenters (who didn’t submit their presentations to be edited until the night before they presented), and other organizers (who were largely unreachable as they lived in distant time zones.) I’m glad to say there were only a couple minor hitches and the show continues to this day based on the framework and lessons I learned.

Would I do it again? My experience would certainly give me a leg up in easing this process but I don’t think I’ll be an event planner anytime soon. The amount of stress I was under and the number of plates I needed to keep spinning was overwhelming. So how do you keep yourself together while trying to keep your work tasks from falling apart?

  1. Do something you find relaxing
    Have an exercise routine that lets you blow off some steam? Have a favorite hobby that helps you relax? Fancy a massage or yoga session? Find some time to do it. It will help manage the stress of being overwhelmed and will take your mind off of it, which will help when you do come back to your work.
  2. Make time where you are unreachable
    This isn’t always an option for everyone but if you can, schedule a time where you don’t look at your email, don’t answer your phone and otherwise don’t respond to others.
  3. Don’t be afraid to (professionally) say “no”
    There will always be demand on your time and prioritization is key to handling and overfull workload. If you are asked to take on a new task explain why you can’t take it on right now. I’ve found that an “I can get to this but it will not be for seven weeks according to my schedule,” is a great way for others to think about how important the task really is.

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