“To handle interruptions properly, you must first determine whether an occurrence is truly an interruption or part of your job” – Tweet This Quote —because a lot of the time in event planning, it can seem like you work amidst one interruption after another. Only when you understand this difference are you able to control your attitude toward the people and the circumstances that threaten to get in your way as you are doing your job. Once you determine that an interruption is part of your job, decide whether it is more important than what you are currently doing or whether it should be postponed. This will help you keep your priorities straight and reduce procrastination.
People interruptions are the most frustrating because they are the most difficult to solve, and who the person is makes a difference in the way you respond. When a client interrupts you either by phone or in person, adopt the attitude that this contact is not an interruption. In fact, it could be another opportunity to clarify goals or even be a valuable source of referrals. Do not automatically put your full day at the disposal of a client’s whim, but do give full attention while clients are talking and then do what is necessary to answer their questions or just listen to any comments or concerns.
The event planning industry is increasing its use of technology and moving more toward a paperless environment where much of the work of planning, organizing, and scheduling is all handled on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. However, no matter how virtual things become, physical paperwork will always be a work of your life as an event planner. Just as you do with any other kind of interruptions, prioritize paper interruptions. If you need to fill out paperwork, do so as the first or last activity on your agenda so that it doesn’t interfere with the flow of your workday. If someone needs you to review a hard copy of a contract or paperwork, ask right away when your edits need to be done. If it’s not urgent, make a note to yourself to handle the edits AFTER you’ve completed the task at hand.
Distractions in your workspace can wreak havoc on productivity if not properly addressed and controlled. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by environmental distractions such as frequent phone calls, schedule a specific telephone time each day to set up appointments with clients and vendors. Email and social networking are notorious time zappers. Designate specific times in your day to post messages on your social networking profiles to promote your business, but if possible, leave such activities to non-critical times of the day. Next, take the time to audit incoming email, and don’t be afraid to be selective. Try to set aside specific periods to deal with it. Turn the alert sounds off on your phone or computer, so you are not alerted every time a message arrives. When you have a particularly important piece of work to complete, take everything you need to do the job and go to a place where you can work without any kind of interruption.
Event planners work on some pretty tight deadlines and every interruption can eat into the precious time needed to complete relevant tasks. Put these tips into practice and minimize your “Interruption Risk.”
Find out why many event professionals have taken their planning careers to the next level by reading “GOING LIVE.” Your FREE digital copy awaits you HERE.