“I just don’t have enough hours in the day!”
Have you ever found yourself thinking this when your desk is piled 10 proposals high with deadlines all due within 72 hours? Or preparing six programs for operations – all which run before the end of the month? This is a familiar feeling for me and I can imagine it’s not an uncommon one for the Destination Management or meeting professional. But how do we overcome that drowning feeling and keep our sanity? Here I will share a couple of tips and tricks on how to be organized, be efficient, and stay sane.
Tips to be Organized and Efficient
- Build a production schedule for each program you have operating for the month and start placing your events on your work calendar. Whether your calendar lives in Outlook, on your desk pad, or a portable spiral, draw everything out so you have a clear picture of where you need to be and when.
- Ask for help! Once you’ve built your calendar and you see there may be scheduling conflicts it’s okay to use reinforcements. Dividing and conquering as a team doesn’t mean you’re less capable. Effective delegation is a huge skill to have in our industry. I’m sure your team is ready and willing to assist when needed – we’ve all been there before.
- Plan ahead. I can’t stress this enough (and I know I’m preaching to the choir here). For example, let’s say you know you have an arrival shuttle that starts Monday morning and a pre-con and evening event on Sunday, use Friday to print all of your necessary paperwork and reconfirm your schedule for the week ahead to gain yourself some extra Z’s over the weekend. Going into the weekend feeling organized before a big operations week can relieve unnecessary stress.
- During your downtime, try to write down a list of priorities that may have fallen on the wayside. What are those pesky tasks that have been nagging you for months…you know, those tasks you keep telling yourself “that would be so great if the office had [insert any number of tools to organize here] to use, but I just don’t have time to get to it right now.” Once you have that list written down, what are your top 3 priorities presently? How long do you think it would realistically take for you to accomplish those priorities? Try sharing the list with your team leader or a coworker you trust to hold you accountable. You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can mark off that priority list by year-end!
- Work from home on your busier days when possible (pending your office’s policy, of course). If you don’t need to rush into the office to print paperwork or attend a meeting, work from home before heading out for a long day of operations or to focus on a large proposal. Although your actual workload isn’t eased by where the work is getting done, the convenience of being home and having one less trip to the office can certainly take away some stress. This also allows you uninterrupted time to focus on your tasks at hand.
Hopefully you’re able to take a nugget away from the above tips. Take comfort in knowing, we’ve all been there. Try taking moment to breathe, go for a walk, and know you’re doing great! We’re hard workers in this industry and, I promise you, we’re making a difference to our clients’ lives!
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