As an event organizer, you’re constantly racing against the clock. On any given day, you have multiple tasks to complete in an impossibly small window of time. The smallest inefficiency can set you back, cutting into the little personal time you have.

And although the occasional late night may be unavoidable, you’ll likely burn out if you don’t find a way to better manage your time.

Regardless of whether you choose to live off of your to-do list or your calendar, managing your time is critical to a long-lasting career in events. To help you get a grip on your time management, we tapped event pros across the industry and the productivity experts at Asana.

Here are their top five tips for time management for event planners:

  1. Schedule your day. You can schedule your day in a to-do list, or if you prefer to live by your calendar, allocate blocks of time for specific tasks. There is truth to the old adage, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Working within a certain timeframe forces your brain to work towards a deadline — and move on when time is up.
  2. Measure your time in minutes, not hours. According to Forbes, the world’s most productive people look at their day as 1,440 minutes to get things done. You may need an hour to complete a specific project, but there are also plenty of quick tasks you can handle in a matter of minutes.
  3. Make a folder of “5-minute tasks” that you can tackle whenever you have a free window of time. Having a place to store these quick tasks will keep you from worrying about them while you’re focusing on bigger things.
  4. Block off working time. Protect your calendar by blocking off chunks of time to sit down and actually get work done. You may have to reschedule or shuffle these blocks once in awhile, but do your best to defend your working time so you don’t end up doing the work at midnight.
  5. Leave time for the unexpected. As an event organizer, you get plenty of last-minute, “urgent” requests. In fact, when we asked organizers about the biggest barrier to productivity in their day-to-day life, nearly half (44%) said “last-minute requests.” So when you plan your day, leave at least 20% of your time free to account for the unexpected.
Tips from Asana co-founder, Justin Rosenstein

Find your flow time. If your day is constantly interrupted by meetings, it’s very difficult to get into flow, a state where you’re really jamming and going deep on complex tasks.

  • Add three-hour “meetings” to your calendar where you’re the only attendee. Coworkers will schedule around these busy times, and you can get uninterrupted work done.
  • If you can, get your whole team to agree to a day per week where there are no meetings. At Asana, we have No Meeting Wednesdays.
  • Track what times of the day work best for you for different activities. Do your hardest work during your “Superman time.” Here’s the process I used to determine that mine is from 10:00am–noon: Finding Your Superman Time.

Taking control of your calendar is the first step to a more productive workflow — and a less stressful planning process. For more expert advice on becoming a more productive event organizer, check out this guide produced in partnership with Asana.

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