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How do you balance your family and faith life within the chaotic and busy event planning industry?


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Jennifer’s Answer

I am not an event planner, but I feel this is a question that is important for any profession.


Always make sure to include some 'me time' into your schedule. 'Me time' can be anything that you find relaxing. For example, I carve 30 minutes out of my day to sit down with the book I am currently reading. I put away my phone and all things work. I empty my mind and go to another world through my book.


Your 'me time' does not have to be reading. It does not have to be everyday, nor does it need to be 30 minutes. It really is about the 'me' in 'me time'.


Here is a TED talk that came to mind from reading your question: https://www.ted.com/talks/shonda_rhimes_my_year_of_saying_yes_to_everything  

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Think about activities that you enjoy and leave you relaxed
Make time in your schedule for these activities and stick to it
Your version of me time may change over time and that is okay

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Sam’s Answer

I learned this saying from one of the leaders in my organization: "Work life balance should be really be work life harmony". Yes, the event life is demanding at times and there will be certain weeks that will ask more of you than others. It is up to you to establish your work life harmony through communication and managing expectations with your boss.

A couple of ways I manage my personal time:
- Plan ahead. Make sure you have a weekend getaway, show, family time, night out, or vacation to look forward to in the coming weeks/months. This keeps you organized and let's you communicate to your team when you will be busy or out of office.
- Create a routine on regular business days. For example, I adjusted my work hours so I could avoid some traffic and get home earlier to take my dog to the park. Event day timelines vary quite often so they are hard to plan around. With that being said, it is still important to plan during your event days or weeks. You can do so by meal prepping, managing your schedule, and bringing additional things to work (comfortable pair of shoes, healthy snacks, portable charger, energy supplements, a nice change of clothes if it's an up-scale event).

Lastly, the event industry can be time consuming but it is possible to have a family and faith life if you desire. Plenty of my team members do it - it is possible if you make it a priority.

Best Regards,

Sam

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Celeste’s Answer

The struggle to balance is very real in this profession because events cannot be time-shifted to be more convenient for your family's schedule. Luckily, the skills that make somebody a successful event planner will also transfer to managing family and other obligations. Make sure you know in advance what work times are non-negotiable - get them on the calendar early and protect that time. Plan far in advance for family coverage and back-up.

But one of the benefits of event planning is that much of the work is self-driven and can be time-shifted. You can carve out family time and do your event planning at off hours. It isn't that fun to start working again when the kids are in bed, but the trade-off on family time is worth it.


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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Kaylee,

Great question and I'm sure you're not the only one with this on your mind. I love the answers provided already about prioritizing and making use of your calendar. I will also set reminders for myself on my phone, for things that are important for me to keep on my calendar or to attend. Some things you might be able to afford to miss and are "nice to do" others you may consider "have to do" so make those a priority.

For me, I have to spend time with my family because they are important to me. Attending key events like graduations, birthday celebrations, etc are so important that I'll get them on the calendar early and ask for time off, often weeks or sometimes months in advance.

When you mentioned "faith life" it also reminded me of how I stay grounded while traveling. I've often traveled on weekends and my church has live streaming of their services. This is really nice because if I can't find the time or a church close to where I'm working, I can live stream my home services and even comment and interact with others watching too.

Technology can help you stay connected with others and also help you with your time management.

Keep asking questions and best wishes for success to you in all you do.

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Watch some helpful TED Talks or online presentations on time management and event planning pro tips.
Reach out to a mentor or someone you know in the industry and try shadowing them on the job to gain additional insights and ideas.
Check out local churches or faith resources you are interested in and how they might be using technology for services or interest group communities to connect with others.
Prioritize. Start by listing what's important to you and scheduling time for the "must haves" in your life.

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Jon’s Answer

This is definitely one of the more difficult parts of the business, but you’re absolutely right it’s crucial, and that right balance is also very personal and is different for everyone. First and foremost, it’s important that your family understands the dynamic schedule of the event business. There will be long stretches where you’re working long hours and potentially long stretches of travel. The key for me personally has been to communicate the schedule often and to make the most of the time I have at home, prioritizing family time when the opportunity arises and working to be hyper-focused on being present.

Additionally, communicate with your team and make sure you’re all taking care of each other. There are going to be times where you’re going to need to cover for each other so that another team member can attend to a family matter that is important to them. I remember I was nervous last year because my daughter was a graduating High School Senior, and all the events around that were happening around the tournament build and tournament week. My team never skipped a beat and covered for me so I could be there for prom pictures, golf team banquent, etc, because they know I would do the same for them.

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Alice’s Answer

Have clarity on what you really need to do and what you want to do. Do not put all at the same priorities . Look at what is important to you but put that in your calendar. You cannot get everything done and it does not mean that you are a bad person. I have ever come across situation. I put faith first, family second and work third. When things are done with integrity and clarity, everything flows. You just want to work on what is necessary, what is important and disregard anything which is not important.


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