Maintaining a work-life balance isn’t an easy task for anyone, especially for an event planner. Add COVID-19 into the fold and the sudden shift to virtual, and it makes life a bit more complicated.
This segment of The Event Planner’s Diary will explore how you can adapt your work-life balance with adjustments needed for our current “Stay In Place” work-life.
A Work-Life Balance for Event Planners
The Best Version of Yourself Requires Balance
One way we accumulate stress is through an unnatural work-life balance.
Too much stress compounding from long work nights, unnatural shifting of roles, and skepticism on the future of our event industry takes a toll on us.
The key is to set a healthy work-life balance:
Whether it be a promotion at work, maintaining a clean house or bettering your health. Make sure they are achievable and within reach.
More ‘Me’ Time
While achieving your goals you have set, take time for you.
Go to the spa (or at home spa) for that facial or massage. Enjoy a guilty pleasure binge-watching Ozark or The Bachelor. Don’t feel guilty as this is needed to keep your sanity.
Listen to Your Body
Go to bed, turn off your brain and phone. Set up your favorite aromatherapy scented diffuser and relax. Listen to your body, it likes to tell you things and will give you warnings as to if something is wrong.
Everyone has busy schedules, your boss, your family and yourself. Being able to manage it and keep a level head is ideal. Be flexible and open with communication if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Communicate with Your Supervisor
Keep the communication line open with your supervisor and co-workers. They are just like you and are trying to find that balance in life.
Working from Home
Currently, we are all experiencing the “New” office concept of working from home due to COVID-19.
I’m going to be honest, this can be difficult if you are not strategic with your day. Not only are we worried about what is going on in current events, but we have extra “co-workers” in our office now.
This can be the love of your life, your sweet babies that can do no wrong or even your four-legged fur babies.
Some of these “co-workers” require extra attention with school work so you are now wearing the teacher hat along with your work hat and parent hat.
Learning to mitigate potential disasters is a learned skill.
IndustryWeek has listed 12 key strategies that you can use to achieve proper work from home life:
- Track Your Time
- Determine Your Priorities
- Set Specific Goals
- Schedule Scrupulously
- Establish Boundaries
- Take Care of Your Health
- Nurture Your Family/Relationships
- Make Time for You
- Leave Work at Work
- Exercise Your Options
- Work Smarter Not Harder
- Know When to Ask for Help
The Entire Family Needs a Schedule
Everyone else in the family needs a schedule to keep their day organized as you do in the office.
Sit down as a family and help everyone understand the needs of each individual. Discuss as a whole what a normal day looks like in their life.
Kids have set schedules at daycare and school and your spouse has a set schedule at their office.
Have your children explain what a day in their life looks like once they arrive at school; don’t forget the fun classes like lunch, gym, and recess. All classes are important to keep as close to their schedule as possible.
With multiple schedules, this might be difficult but be flexible with your schedules as adults. It’s easier as an adult to adapt our schedules versus kids adapting their normal routines and understanding why. All they know is they are missing their friends.
You might have older kids and believe me that is a lot easier to explain what is going on in the world, but they need to have their set schedules too.
“Office Space” for everyone
Make an office space for the kids with supplies so that they can complete their classwork and turn in by school scheduled due dates.
Show them they have an office like Mommy and Daddy do. Give them a fun space to work in with a picture or a window view if possible.
Set up a separate workspace for older kids away from the younger kids to allow them the silence they might need for harder work. As teenagers, they are used to working on their own and self-paced with their studies but still need to be monitored.
Incorporate their recess time in their schedule as they need a break.
Take a family lunch break to ensure you are all eating healthy and it’s a nice treat to have that special time together.
If it’s nice outside, make a picnic to change up the environment. Get creative with breaks but still incorporate learning to sneak in an art lesson or home economics with baking or cooking dinner.
Along with setting schedules to keep people focused, set rules such as no phones during 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Or maybe it’s mandatory “quiet time” for the younger kids when you need to be on an important conference call.
Four-legged Fur Babies Schedule
Not only are your lives being altered but so are your pets.
We might not always think our pets have schedules, but it’s tough to get that many naps into one day. They are used to waking up early with the family, maybe get a morning walk in before everyone leaves for their busy day.
The new schedule has them wondering, “Why are my people home with me all day?”, and “I love this but what did I do to win all of this attention.”
They need to be kept on schedules too, keep their routines as if you were leaving the house for the day.
Wake up, take them on that walk, set up their morning food and water routine; go to your home office, and close the door for a time limit to allow them alone time. It’s not that they can’t come into your office, but allow them their space to adjust to the changes.
We love our animals and want nothing more than to keep them happy and play with them all day long. Realistically, that is not possible as you have office work to complete for your company.
Talk with them and say it’s office time, go lay down. I know one of my dogs will lay under my desk until I stop working.
It’s a little relaxing for me too, but don’t tell her.
Staying Safe and Healthy at Home
Saying staying safe isn’t saying it is dangerous right now but there is a lot about COVID-19 that we still don’t know.
Knowing the latest news is helpful but remember too much of one thing is not healthy.
Keep in mind that your mental health is just as important as your physical health; so put on your daily schedule a certain amount of time dedicated to updating yourself on COVID-19.
Set a schedule to clean the house, light switches, doorknobs, and all surfaces. This needs to be done more than once a week.
Make sure you have tissues around the house to blow nose and hand sanitizer to clean hands.
Create a timer trick, like a song, so you and your family are washing for 20 seconds. The CDC has great tips to keep clean at home and in public.
For event planners, shifting to a work from home life can create a new, unusual work-life balance.
Understanding how your new schedule impacts your work, family, and health is very important in maintaining a functional and successful lifestyle.
It’s easy to get carried away with work when it never leaves your home. Remember to set aside time for yourself and your family.
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