If you’re like most event professionals, summer is a time for hustling between meetings and events and fitting in things like meals and sleep…if you’re lucky. Sound familiar? For many, the summer season brings in the most revenue. The days are long, the weather is beautiful, schools are on break, and people naturally want to celebrate.
For those of us in the industry, however, that revenue comes with the often overlooked side: stress, overwhelm, and fatigue. It’s easy to feel like you can keep fueling yourself with espresso and work through all hours of the week, but it’s time to realize that self-care is the true name of the game. As busy as summer can get, you need to protect yourself against the inevitable burnout that comes with overdoing your workload without proper stress management.
As a busy entrepreneur running a company (along with several side hustles), I’ve had to prioritize self-care over the years and have learned a few tricks of the trade for preserving wellbeing during the busiest time of year. Here are my top recommendations for summertime sanity.
Schedule time with yourself
Your calendar is probably full of back-to-back appointments and the rest of the time is typically dedicated to client work. When you have openings in your schedule, it’s easy to think you can fit in another meeting or site tour. However, you owe it to yourself to take a break every now and then, even if just for half an hour.
Whether you’re protective of your lunch break or the family time you get in the evening, add it to your calendar as an appointment that you cannot break with yourself. You’ll know not to double-book and you can rest easy setting your phone aside for a little while to enjoy the moment.
The lines of work and life can be blurry for entrepreneurs and creatives, as our careers often have us on-the-go or even working from home. When you’re not in a typical 9 to 5 routine, things can get out of hand quickly. For this reason, you must set boundaries between your personal life and your work life. This means ensuring that expectations are clear with your family, your friends, your clients, and especially yourself.
If you are open to taking evening meetings, for example, limit them to only a couple of nights so you don’t find yourself burnt out at the end of each week. Pick a time to stop working each day and stick to it, turning off your work email until you’re back in the office. Be upfront with clients about communication times so they’re not disturbing your personal time, then do the same with friends and family members so they’re not distracting you during work hours. Boundaries are different for each individual, so find what works best for you and stick to it.
Know your priorities
To-do lists are great tools for keeping us accountable, but they can quickly become scary beasts that never seem to end. Sometimes, it can seem like you get three new to-do’s for every task you check off. While you may not be able to avoid the slew of responsibilities on your plate, you must understand how to prioritize them accordingly.
Not everything needs to be done today (or even this week), so you must ensure that the most time-sensitive tasks are getting completed first. If other things must wait, so be it. Trying to fit every last to-do into your day will leave you stressed and overwhelmed, which actually makes you far less productive than if you took some time to yourself.
Try something new
During your busiest season, it can seem counterproductive to start a new hobby or learn about a new passion. While it’s certainly a great thing to do during off-season, it can actually have a major benefit in your peak season as well. New hobbies help you to disengage from work for a bit, which lets that part of your mind rest and replenish until you need it again. It also exercises the creativity muscle in your brain, so you are more inclined to gaining new knowledge. By taking a break to learn something new (even if it’s just reading a book or listening to a podcast!), you’ll find yourself sitting down to work with a fresher and more productive mindset.
Taking care of yourself during busy season has countless benefits. From maintaining personal relationships to providing clients with a better experience, self-care is not something to overlook this summer. Carve out some time to go back to your roots and nurture your mind, body, and spirit—your newfound creative inspiration will thank you.