In our profession, stress is quick to the plate. Those 90-hour workweeks creep up, and next thing you know, you are up at 2 a.m. scribbling to-do lists. In 2016, I set forward to allow the pieces of my “life pie” to match my priorities. Here are four tips for balancing your professional pie wedges:
>> Make your schedule transparent.
It’s important for your team to know where you are when you’re on the road. We’ve all gotten calls at 4 a.m. when on the West Coast, or responded too late to an urgent email we didn’t see quickly enough. Share an online calendar with your immediate team and have another calendar in your work area that people can see.
>> Limit smartphones and email.
Unless I’m working an event or am on the road, I don’t keep work email on my phone. I know—gasp! Not all of you may have the luxury to do this if your company supplies your phone. However, this allows me to
focus more on my husband, friends and pups when I get home.
>> Cross-train your colleagues.
When you have great people on your team, it makes the group efficient. And when you share materials with one another and empower them, it makes everyone even more efficient. We’re always cross-training so any staff member can ask anyone on the events team a question and get an answer.
>> Take your out-of-office one step further.
If I’m going to be out on extended travel, I set up a preemptive out-of-office note two weeks prior in my email signature, informing people I’ll be out for a long period of time. Giving people a heads up—in bold, colored text—that you’ll be out for a two-week holiday (see first point) allows ample time for questions to be covered before you leave.
How do you balance your pie wedges?
Angie Ahrens, CMP, is director of meetings and events at Connect, overseeing the programming of all Connect events including the annual Connect Faith Marketplace.