In a recent study from CareerCast, meeting planners and event coordinators were ranked the fifth most stressful job. For those of us in the industry, that should come as no surprise. Between negotiations, acting as the middleman between clients and venue, intense deadlines and the unconventional hours, planners have a lot on their plates. We worked with Megan Diaz, senior business development manager at Minneapolis Northwest Tourism, to gather tips and tricks for finding some balance among the demands of this challenging career.
1. Stay Organized
Staying organized is never as simple as it sounds. Event the smallest item, like dealing with missing nametags, can cause a great deal of stress. The first step to getting organized is compiling a comprehensive checklist of all your tasks. Next, make sure to keep a good network of industry professionals to call upon for advice when you need it. Finally, try joining a professional network or organization like MPI, ILEA or SPIN for enhanced industry connections and continuing knowledge shares and education opportunities.
2. Explore the Outdoors
Even just a few minutes outside can make a big difference; it allows you to clear your mind, re-center your thoughts and come back to your desk refreshed and ready to dive back into work. No matter the season, there are plenty of things to do outside that won’t take too much time out of your busy day. Hiking and biking are the easiest and quickest ways to hit the resent button, but not the only outdoor options. Organize a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood for your team, try out Frisbee golf in a local park, or plan a cross-country ski adventure if you live near snow.
3. Practice Mindfulness
In many ways, the best stress relief is simply being present and living in the moment. It can take time and practice, but finding mindfulness and learning the art of meditation will prove to be beneficial in the long run. For a solution in the meantime, try finding a community committed to mindfulness in your community like the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. These centers offer daily meditation sessions, weekly classes and meditation retreats to focus on mindfulness.
4. Work Off the Negative Energy
After a stressful day, sometimes the answer is to sweat off the negative energy with a great workout. Try heading to the gym straight from work so you don’t have an excuse to skip the training and stay home. Classes are also a great option for a more structured workout, and allow you to get fit at any intensity level. Try a high-intensity, low-impact workout at places like Pure Barre or Jazzercise studios. Other options include resistance training circuit classes, Pilates, yoga and kickboxing.
5. Get Creative
It’s extremely useful to have an outlet for your creativity outside of work responsibilities. Whether you want to learn how to cook, knit a scarf, become a cake designing master, or create latte art, you can find classes on just about anything online or in your community. Nursing your creativity is a perfect way to ignite new interests or revisit old hobbies, all while giving your brain a break from your day-to-day tasks. Who know, maybe your new passion will even make you a better planner!