I mentioned last week that it’s challenging trying to run 2 businesses in 2 days (although the odd extra hours here and there mean it’s not 2 days really! Ssshhh!).

The one thing I’m noticing more and more recently is although I’ve obviously a lot on, I’m not as stressed about my workload as I would have been just a couple of years ago and, when I had 5 glorious days to fill with endless deadlines.

I put this wholeheartedly down to the influence launching EventWell has had an my attitude to work, and the invaluable tips I’ve picked up from my wellbeing colleagues about how to prioritise better so that I’m more productive, for the very simple reason that I have to be.

You’ll have heard of mindfulness, which to cut a long story short is the art of living in the here and now, so what I thought I’d do for you is share a few mindfulness techniques I use that may also help you work with deadlines.

1. Work on 1 task at a time

Now I’m not saying don’t multi-task as we’re supposed to be the masters at that aren’t we? I’m just saying there is a time and a place for that and when you’re working on tasks with looming deadlines work on them 1 at a time.

It allows you to focus your full attention and concentration into that 1 activity. It also means you’re less likely to make a mistake as you’re not distracted.

If it helps switch off your phone, close down your emails (which you should only be periodically checking anyway but I’ll talk about that another time), close your office door, do what you need to do to ‘switch off the noise’ until you’ve done what you need to do.

2. Stop being distracted by the deadline

Now this one I will admit is quite tricky but with practise you’ll get used to the idea.

Picture the scene, we are all guilty of it at some point, you spend your day constantly thinking about the tasks in hand and it goes something like this “I’ve got to get a signed contract across to a venue by 11, because they’ll release the space if I don’t, then I’ve got to call and confirm everything for next week’s event with the production company by 11.30 because they have another event and aren’t in the office later, conference badges are being delivered at 1 and they’ve then got to be sorted in alphabetical order…”.

Do you see what’s happened? You’re adding unnecessary pressure to your day and on yourself and you haven’t even got started.

Prioritise your tasks for that day, what do you need to work on first? What can wait until later? Then complete them 1 task at a time, and try not to clock watch whilst you do it.

I worked in venues for 17 years and never once released a space because a contract didn’t come back to me dead on the hour, and if you have a venue that does you probably don’t want to be working with them anyway.

If someone is going to be unavailable and out of the office then that’s their problem not yours, send them an email and follow up with a call later when they are free.

And conference badges can really be put in alphabetical order on site, or you could even ask your supplier to print them in alphabetical order for you.

It’s that simple.

3. Slow down and take your time

It can be hard to contemplate how slowing down can actually help you get things done quicker, so I’ll try and explain.

How many times have you had a list of things you’ve needed to pick up and you’ve rushed out to get them, and when you’ve got back realised that you’ve forgotten something and you’ve had to go back (because actually the one thing you forgot was the most important thing you needed).

There’s your explanation right there. By slowing down, being in the here and now and concentrating on the task in hand, not only will you most likely get the task done well and done correctly, but you’ll also get it done without the need to go back and rectify any mistakes, which ultimately saves you time for the next task.

Mindfulness isn’t just about doing 10 minutes of breathing and meditation a day, because what are you doing for the other 23 hours and 50 minutes?

Mindfulness is about attending to what’s happening and what you’re doing, and the space you’re moving through. Mindfulness is also about acceptance.

Give the above a try. You may actually find that they work and will help you stay calm and collected in those busy periods. Stranger things have happened!

Until next time #eventprofs…