December 13, 2016
By John Hunter

As a meetings and events professional, you know full well that being strapped for time goes with the territory. During the holidays? Well, turn everything up to “11” and act accordingly. Not only do the days seem to fly by in the blink of an eye (wait, it's December what what already?!), you also have to deal with key event stakeholders, both external and internal, taking time off, your own PTO, and dealing with the other tasks that come along –C’mon, I know at least one of you out there has been asked to “plan” the family gathering/vacation this year. So as the stress rises and the clock ticks, what is the best way to stay on track so you can actually enjoy your few days off and properly enjoy the season while keeping up productivity?

Here are a few tips to keep you focused, productive and sane.

Rock it when you’re at your best

Are you an early riser, or do you prefer the quiet and relative calm that working a little later in the day brings? At Cvent, we have people who come in before 7am and others who prefer knocking out key tasks when the cleaning crew arrives in the evening. Whatever your preference, take advantage when you’re the “best version of yourself.”

Just say “No!” unnecessary meetings. Or maybe, “catch ya later?” Add a little time back in your day by NOT always responding “yes” to every random meeting that comes across your in-box. Block this time out, and if it’s not critical that you be in said meeting, catch up later with your team when you have a free moment. Or, ask if this is a topic that can be covered in a quick chat at your desk, instead of a mentally draining hour spent in a conference room. Sometimes, I’ll simply block time out on my calendar by requesting “no meetings please.” This generally works, but sometimes your co-workers will try and double-book you. But you know better than anyone, your time is valuable and should be respected. Politely decline and plan on.

Ignore the lure of the Internet

Have you stopped laughing yet? Yep, this might be the most difficult. So maybe not “ignore,” but rather, give yourself an allotted “dose” of time and stick to it. And I realize this a bit weird, as this is on a blog…on the internet. And you’re a meetings professional, and you absolutely need it for business purposes. What I’m talking about here is social/personal time. Every day there’s a special sale at your favorite store’s online site, Aunt Emmy is traveling to Patagonia and you can’t wait to see all those awesome pictures, hey, look, it’s the latest cat memes and dog videos, movie reviews (more Star Wars!)…so much to see and catch up on. So do your level best to keep it to a minimum. There’s always time during your lunch break or after you get home to connect and unwind.

Give yourself a break

You work hard all year long. Take some time to relax and look back on all the great things you’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s difficult to do this when you’re in the weeds, but it can put things in perspective: you’ve got one of the most stressful jobs out there and you’re excelling. That’s definitely something to be proud of and build on. This time of reflection can also help you with goal-setting and formulating your plans for 2017 and beyond. What went well? What didn’t work so great? What just may need a tweak or two to be groundbreaking?

Have a wonderful holiday season

Thank you for reading the Meeting Minds blog! We have a lot of fun and exciting things in store for the New Year, so stay tuned!

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