I may or may not be hyperventilating while writing this....BUT I think after I finish this post, I'll read it, follow my own advice, and be fine. Yep.
Well, friends, event season is officially here. I didn't realize it was starting already, but as I was writing today's newsletter I noticed how many events were already on the calendar for the next few months! I do my best to curate the events that I share in my newsletter because I know there are SO many events happening every night in Dallas, but I want to make sure you know about the ones that I think are the most important/beneficial/FUN and of course share the events that I'll be at so we can meet up! Even though I try not to share too many, it would be veryy easy to schedule an event (or two!) every night of the week as we get into holiday season. Just in case you're a planner like me, or you get overwhelmed thinking about a full schedule, I'm going to share a few tips with you that always help me stay grounded during busy times.
I LOVE a perfectly organized calendar, I use a digital calendar AND a paper planner, the bicep emoji marks my workouts on my ical each day, and my blog content calendar is a different color than my personal calendar. I'm THAT girl. Even though I'm organized, I still have to take a step back when my calendar starts to get too full...like right now. Here are a few of the ways I stay sane when it feels like I'm driving all over the city from event to event!
1. Have a system to process event invitations.
Yes, you need a system. Paper planner, ical, have your assistant pencil it in...whatever works for you! ;) As soon as I receive an event invitation, I check my calendar and pencil it in (literally, I write it in pencil) on a MONTHLY calendar. If you're a visual person, a monthly calendar will help you see where your days are filling up with a quick glance. I use my paper planner for bird's eye view planning; I can easily see if the event is happening while I'm out of town (immediate decline) or if I have a friend's birthday party that night, or if I'm free.
If you receive a Facebook event invitation (or perhaps 19 per day, which seems to be happening right now...), pencil it into your calendar so you don't forget about it! If you don't want to attend or can't make it, decline immediately- the event organizer will appreciate it and it will cut down on your notifications. During your Sunday night planning session for your upcoming week (you do that, right?!), make sure you know what events are happening that week so they don't sneak up on you.
2. Set a maximum number of events per night/week (or a minimum!).
I know how many events I can attend in one night or how many weeknights I can schedule back to back events before getting burnt out. What's your sweet spot? If you're an introvert, don't plan to attend an event every night of the week, or squeeze one in after bible study or before volleyball! Know your limits, and don't feel bad saying "I already have an event that night, sorry I won't be able to make it." Most event hosts will understand completely and would rather have you keep your sanity than show up to their event stressed out. I know that, personally, I have to keep ONE night free each week to stay home. Laundry awaits. I usually need a night to clean, catch up on some work, or just get some extra sleep, so when I'm planning my weeks, I try to make sure I have one free night. It sounds so simple, but it's tough not to immediately fill that time slot or ask a friend to grab dinner; it's important to protect your "me time!"
3. Set a goal for each event.
Are you trying to make new friends? Meet a guy? Network for business opportunities? Get clear about why you're going to an event! If it's simply to support a friend and have fun, that's great, too! Try thinking about what would make this event a success in your book... do you just want a cute Instagram photo? (no judgment from me!) Sometimes I leave an event and think "meh, that was a waste of time." but that only happens when I didn't set a goal for what I wanted to come from that event. When I prep myself and set a goal, for example, of making two new friends, I can leave happy knowing that I achieved my goal and made two new friends! I think you should make new friends every chance you get, but hey, sometimes you're not in the mood and that's not a realistic goal! Know why you're there, and make the most of it.
4. Prioritize events.
Who get dibs on your schedule? Ugh. How do you choose which events to go to? Well, it's pretty simple actually...let me help you! What sounds the most fun?! YOU make your own schedule. YOU make time for what you want to (including working out, but that's a different blog post!). Do you have time to go to this event? Does the event conflict with a standing commitment you have each week? If you have to choose between two events, think about which one you'll truly enjoy, which one will challenge you, which one will make you uncomfortable. Sometimes you choose the "easy" event that means seeing people you already know or going somewhere familiar, but sometimes you choose to challenge yourself and go somewhere new with people you don't know. But YOU always get to choose (unless your significant other has an important event, then good luck with that!).
5. Follow through on your RSVP.
HUGE. Huge tip. Be a person who follows through. If you don't want to go, say no. But if you say yes, then go. Don't back out even if you don't "feel" like it. Tonight, I squeezed in an event that I shouldn't have and it put me behind on the rest of my night, but I said I would be there, so I was there. I should have said no, BUT since I said yes I had to honor that. Be a person who honors your word. (As an event planner, this is my number one pet peeve!) This tip will eventually teach you to know when to say no. ;)
It's hard to believe that the holidays are around the corner, I'm working hard on Beats & Bubbly, and it will be 2019 before we know it! Remember these tips as we start the busiest season of the year and you'll be just fine. :)