In such a demanding industry, it’s important for meeting and event professionals to find new ways to destress and avoid burnout.
It’s not a secret: event planning is a hard career.
Event planning is consistently ranked at the top of the Most Stressful Jobs list, right behind active military, firefighters, pilots and police officers.
With that kind of pressure, it’s important to find helpful ways to fight the urge to flame out.
Luckily for you, we have a tremendous group of meeting and event professionals who offered us tips on how you can keep your head above water and avoid burnout.
27 Ways for Event Professionals to Avoid Burnout
1. Taking a break to do something that “sparks joy”
Take five-minute breaks throughout the day to do something simple but enjoyable. Watch a YouTube video, stretch or clean out your desk. Little mental breaks like this go a long way.
2. Talking out stressors with your team or coworkers.
“We’ve all been there. It’s nice to know that you aren’t alone in that situation.”
-Kaylee Piper, Meeting and Event Coordinator
3. Take a random half day of PTO on a weekday.
Don’t work yourself so hard that you leave vacation days on the table. Taking small chunks of time away from work can actually go a long way.
4. Listen to music that gets you through a tough day.
Maybe you like to crank metal, or perhaps a little Bach helps you mellow. Sometimes, throwing on your earbuds and disconnecting from outside distractors can help you focus on what’s important.
5. Sweat it out
“In order for me to avoid burnout, I practice self-care by working out either right before work or right after work.
When I work out first thing in the morning, I’m energized, in a great mood, and I’m always ready to take on the day when I arrive at the office. When I do things like going to hot yoga after work, it allows me to immediately decompress while getting a great workout.
Exercise is proven to reduce stress, and for me, that goes for stress both inside and outside of the workplace. It is an outlet for me to focus on other things while taking care of my mental and physical health!”
-Meredith Hill, Meeting & Event Coordinator
Set it on your calendar if you have to. Do something that will help you burn some of that stress out of you.
6. Set clear expectations
It sounds simple, but so many people fail to do it. Don’t overload yourself on the front end of a project. Be clear with what you will and won’t do, so no one is taken by surprise and you’re not burdened.
7. Learn how to say “no”
If you’re a “Yes” person, this one’s for you: IT’S OK TO SAY NO. Just do so in a respectful, professional manner. You don’t need to take on the world.
8. Don’t be a hero.
If you aren’t able to do something, it’s OK. Try to find a different solution or ask someone else who can assist. That’s real strength, not weakness.
9. Don’t live in your inbox.
Your email doesn’t tell you what to do. It’s a tool to help you do your job, not something that manages you.
10. Make a daily task list of 3-5 things you want to accomplish.
Feeling overwhelmed is no match for checking off a box. This helps you prioritize and gives you a better sense of accomplishment the more you do.
11. Take the dog for a walk
It might not help if you’re in the office, but if you work from home and have a dog, taking them for short walks does two things: 1) gets you out of the house and moving 2) prevents you from having to clean up a mess at the end of the day.
12. Look for ways to reduce burnout risks
“Building a sustainable plan of development helps me focus less on all the things I can’t keep up with.”
-Michael Ecton, Product Specialist
13. Change of scenery
Office or home, it doesn’t matter; the same backdrop gets boring. Change up your working locations. If your boss is OK with it, take a morning and work in a coffee shop for some new inspirations. Or find an outdoor location.
14. Sleep. Duh…
Raise your hand if you get the required 7-9 hours of sleep to function at your best.
Yeah… not many. This one’s important, but sleep is always the first to get cut.
Getting the right amount of sleep is the BEST thing you can do to stay healthy and avoid burnout.
15. The Tin Man needed some oil too
Take it from Erika Carmago, Training Lead, Customer Service: “Essential oils in your desk help for a quick escape.”
16. Breathing and visualization
“I experienced this technique years ago at a Host Forum I still use to this day.”
-Karla Bauman, Strategic Account Manager
17. Start positive
Even if it means talking to yourself, don’t get out of bed until you’ve given yourself a little pep talk. Set your goals and expectations early and go get ‘em.
18. Save the drama…
It’s too easy to get caught up in others’ drama.
Empathize but don’t internalize their emotions. We all could use safe people to vent, rant, cry, spin and be heard. It’s helpful to get it out. Everyone needs colleagues and friends they can rely on through the hard days.
19. Show gratitude
It feels good to be kind to others and experience kindness in return.
20. Control multitasking.
Focus on a few “must-dos” daily and get them done. See No. 10.
21. Block it like it’s hot
Guess what? It’s OK to block off some uninterrupted time in your calendar. Plan what you will focus on during that time and do it!
22. Chuck similar projects
There are so many times you can combine and conquer… at a later date. Get the big stuff done first and then save your administrative tasks for later and do them all at the same time.
23. Let it go
If a situation, person, project, etc. is causing you too much emotional stress, walk away. As best you can, put it out of your mind. If it creeps back in, choose to keep it from the front of your mind. Time will give you strength and perspective.
24. Learn to Lunch
“No matter how busy you think you are, take a lunch break away from your desk.”
-Susan Bennet, Strategic Account Manager
25. Drinks lots of water
Proper hydration isn’t just for athletes. Studies show that drinking water can help you increase your productivity by 14 percent.
26. Set a time and shut it down.
If it’s 5 PM or 7 AM, it doesn’t matter; pick a time to unplug and do it. Don’t look at your email or answer those “urgent” texts.
Work-Life balance isn’t like bigfoot: it does exist and it’s not elusive. You have to be intentional with it. When you’re not working, be in the moment, whether it’s with family, friends, pets, etc.
27. Prioritize recovery time
“I tend to plow from one task to the next, work-life into personal life and don’t always downshift and even take a breath.
I actually took a lesson from my trainer at my gym that recovery time for our bodies is just as important as our active training time – when you overexert and keep pushing eventually you’re being counterproductive to your goals.
So, I’ve tried to apply that elsewhere in my life. When my mind or body is telling me I need to stop, take a pause and just rest, I try really hard to listen!”
-Cara McGuire, Director, Event Management
What are some ways you avoid burnout? Share them in the comments below and we may highlight them on social media!
Mitch Cooper is the Content Marketing Manager for Experient. A former journalist, he is passionate about crafting stories that enlighten and engage audiences.
When he’s not writing and editing, he enjoys spending time with his wife and one-year-old son, playing and watching sports and making people laugh.