4 Tips for Overcoming Exhaustion in Event Work

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You know the feeling. You're tired, hungry, can't remember the last time you stopped to pee, and you're burnt out. Working in events - be that weddings, sports, conventions, catering, etc. - is exciting and ever changing. You love it because you're not chained to a desk, but chances are you're chained to your phone, your email and your clients. It can be exhausting work making things happen while others enjoy the fruits of your labor, and let's not forget the time away from home, family and friends!

Have you been there? Are you there right now? Wondering why on earth you set the alarm for 3:30am after crawling into bed at 12:30am? Here are some tips I've found helpful when I reach that point.

1. Delegate.

People who manage, work and organize events err on the side of controlling. It's how we're built! We don't delegate, which adds responsibilities and enhances our stress levels. We then find ourselves burning out quickly. Most of the time, its not that we don't trust our coworkers or wouldn't mind a helping hand. It just seems easier to do it ourselves. Try to find one task, one phone call, one errand that someone could do for you and delegate. Work alone? There is an app that will do something for you. I like Buffer for posting social media content. I can create it when the mood strikes or I have time, and let the program remember to actually post that awesome infographic!

2. Eat better.

Who has time to eat while working an event, right? You may not think you even have the time to even grab a drink of water. When I started my current job, I would bring a granola bar or energy drink as my fuel for a 16-hour day. I quickly learned those calories did nothing for me. Now, I pack a lunch like I would for any other day and try to include some form of protein. Sitting down for 10 minutes to eat a salad with some chicken or leftover spaghetti with a couple of meatballs keeps my hangry-ness at bay and prevents that sluggish feeling from setting in. I've even found that I feel better the next day if I take the time to eat right on event days!

3. Take a moment. 

Not all employers and situations will allow this, but if you're able to, take even 60 seconds to really SEE the event you're working. Do you see happy faces devouring your catering? Can you feel the happiness as wedding guests mill about the reception? Did you catch the job offer just made at your networking brunch? To this day, my proudest moment working in events was actually attending a concert I helped put together. I saw the impact it had on thousands of people and that joy puts me in a good mood when I'm feeling down.

4. Be at home.

Event work is not a "9 to 5" gig. However, when you are able to get away - get away! Try to set aside the phone for an hour or more. In this world of instant and constant communication, that can be hard and expectations get out of hand. Some tasks can wait. Only do what is absolutely necessary; the rest will still be there when you go back to work. Remember that we work to live and not live to work!

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Becky VanSandt
Crafter by nature, customer service manager by trade, Wisconsinite by blood, sports enthusiast by choice. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism/strategic communication and master's degrees in sports administration and business administration. I work full time in event customer service while also managing a small online retail business and writing content for the bookish blog, Literary Quicksand.
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