HOW TO REDUCE EVENT STRESS?
THE ORIGIN OF STRESS
Stress term has been coined in 1949 by a Hungarian physician named Hans Selye. In his first article, he claimed that “Stress in heath and disease is medically, sociologically, and philosophically the most meaningful subject for humanity that I can think of”. Probably that is why he wrote over 1500 articles, 32 books, and trained 40 PhD students on the subject. The story of the whole research is extremely long yet exciting. The researcher had become an expert at making rats suffer for science. He subjected them to extreme temperatures, made them starve for long periods, or forced them to exercise heavily. He figured out that all those tortures caused diseases and ultimately led to the death of the animal. Sounds serious. Does it apply to human beings as well? If yes, how can you deal with huge stress?
IS COORDINATING EVENTS THAT STRESSFUL? It may be really surprising to learn that event management is such a stressor. CareerCast ranked a planner the 5th most stressful job of 2016. The good news is that ‘tortures’ are way different from Selye’s lab. The CareerCast made a final list by analyzing 11 factors: travel, deadlines, working in the public eye, competitiveness, physical demands, environmental conditions, hazards encountered, the life of oneself or others at risk, meeting and interacting with customers and/or the public, and the potential for job growth. They gave an event manager a score of 49.93. In comparison, the least stressful job got a 3.80 grade. It all leads to a conclusion that if you are in the business, you are far more courageous than an average man. It doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need to know how to chill effectively. The relaxation should always be on your to-do-list! Here are 5 various ideas on how to avoid and reduce event stress: 1) CUT YOUR EVENT INTO PIECES Organizing an event is often a huge venture. You have to meet your company's standards, client’s requirements, partners’ expectations and predict the unpredictable. It seems like a fairly difficult task. What might be helpful is dividing all duties into separate tasks. Once done, it’s about time to prepare a daily to-do-list. This way you will see your big event as a collection of small chunks that can be easily accomplished. It can minimize your stress level and bring relaxation. 2) SHARE DUTIES Remember that you have to collaborate with your team. Many people find it difficult to trust their colleagues. They believe that they are the only ones that can perform in an efficient and successful manner. In reality, the fact that someone does something differently doesn’t mean he or she does it wrong. People can achieve a given goal in various ways. That is why you shouldn't be afraid of sharing duties. I’m sure your team can handle much more than you expect. Give them a chance to show their potential and shine. Do not forget to monitor them from time to time and check whether they meet deadlines. 3) AVOID PERFECTIONISM You are often your worst enemy. Don't forget that there are no perfect employees. Everyone has its own strengths and weaknesses. In order to succeed, you just have to emphasize your advantages and best skills. If you aren’t keen on specific task try to exchange it with someone else. It might help you deal with a given thing quicker. If you are often self-demanding you might be an ‘A’ personality type. Psychologists claim that ‘A’ individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They always have lots of goals to achieve. Once accomplished, such people don’t feel a sense of joy. They always remember only pitfalls and cannot focus on their achievements. If you suspect you might have an ‘A’ type personality make this simple test. 4) DEVELOP A HOBBY I know it may sound strange that I suggest adding something extra to your busy calendar. However, many psychologists advise to have a regular getaway from your daily duties. Hobbies provide relaxation and enable you to switch into mind state similar to meditation. It is best to choose activities that demand full engagement and enjoyment. When it gets really stressful, you step into a totally different role, that doesn’t resemble your job profile. Depending on your character you can try playing games, hiking, dancing, painting or cooking. If you have tried neither of them, just choose one and give it a go. 5) TAKE SHORT HOLIDAYS I know that you need to plan and execute your event strategy efficiently. In order to succeed, you should focus on your calendar of tasks. It may happen, however, that your event stress gets the better of you. This is the perfect moment for a short vacation. You probably think it’s madness. I can prove that it is rational. You may have lost your productivity and brain concentration. This often leads to small mistakes that may eventually cause a disaster. That is why my advice is to go on short holidays. It can be a weekend break or a day trip. You don’t have to travel long distances. I’m sure there are plenty of lovely places around your city. ACQUIRE A STRESS RELIEF HABIT! Lastly, remember that stress is an involuntary body's method of reacting to a challenge. You need to develop a habit that will overcome this flaw of human nature. It can be something out of my short list. You can also use your imagination and come up with some alternative ideas. It’s all up to you. If you already have an event stress relief, share your solution with us!