Feeling Overwhelmed? 4 Tips to Avoid Burnout

While the beginning of a New Year can serve as a fresh start for many, with inspiration everywhere you turn, for me it marks the start of a hectic and sometimes overwhelming event season. Coming back from a brief break over the holidays leads to an even larger to-do list than normal, along with new goals and wanting to do it all! My “Go Big or Go Home” mentality can become more detrimental than not if it’s not kept in check, especially during this time of the year. The constant hustle and bustle can get out of control and leave me feeling like there’s never enough time in a day, and the planning never ends!


When planning seems endless, there are a few things I remind myself of to avoid getting burned out:

  1. Take care of yourself first. Whether on the road or at home, your health and wellness directly impact your ability to produce successful, seamless events. If you are ill or low on energy, it’s more challenging to manage all the details that come along with events you plan. Check in with yourself regularly and be sure you are getting enough food, sleep, and support to perform at your best!
  1. Get organized. Make it a point to simplify your organizational tools. In this case, less is more. Find an organizational method that works for you and use it consistently to stay on top of your to-dos. When you’re overwhelmed, there’s often a lot on your mind. Getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper or iPad can alleviate that stressful feeling of “too much to do” and make it more manageable. Be sure to file away last year’s projects and create fresh files and space for this year’s as well!
  1. Trust the process and the timing. Much like your next event task list, it takes time and planning to accomplish all of your goals, and your timelines need to be realistic. If you put too much on your plate, reevaluate and consider taking on less in more manageable chunks of time.  Break your larger goals into smaller pieces, and give yourself even more time than you think you need to complete them. Remember to account for days when you simply don’t feel like doing anything more than you HAVE to. (We all have those days!)
  1. Take a working vacation. If you just need a little time away from the office but don’t want to use those precious vacation days so soon, consider a working vacation. As a corporate planner, my company encourages me to stay current on industry relevant topics, and network and attend industry events. When I have a break in my events schedule, I can find relevant educational or experiential events to attend and continue to grow as a planner. Just last September, I attended the Elite Meetings Alliance in San Antonio, Texas, and found it to be my favorite industry event so far. (You can read more about that here and here!)  What better way to get a mini-break than to attend an event that caters to planners?!  Not only are you sure to meet great industry contacts, but you will also go home refreshed and more knowledgeable, with resources to help you for your next event.

If you’re interested in attending an upcoming EMA, you can find more details here.

May your 2016 planning be seamless and peaceful!




Sara Bell

Sara Bell

Sara Bell is a Corporate Event Coordinator in the aviation industry and has planned everything from incentive programs and golf tournaments, to annual meetings for 200+ attendees. Based in Houston, Texas, she is a frequent traveler and enjoys exploring new destinations.

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