Timelines and To Do Lists…Finding Work/Life Balance

By:  Jill M. Jackson, CMP

JJ Pic 1With all the timelines and things that must be done each day, how do we achieve work and life balance?  Being the over achiever, perfectionist and “always says yes” person that I am, this is something I have struggled with through my entire professional career.

Managing numerous client annual conventions that include trade shows, golf tournaments, meal events, hotel reservations, travel arrangements, speaker communication and logistics, marketing, registration, name badges, onsite program, signs… the never ending to do list goes on and on!  I am just tired while even thinking of it all!

There are a few simple things that have assisted me with trying to manage not only my professional responsibilities each day, but also in taking care of my two elderly parents, my dog, my cat and then sometimes remembering to take care of me!

  • Create a “To Do” List – To do list have been a part of my life since I was a child. My mother never left home without her grocery list, her to do list and a plan of action to make it all happen!  With two twin girls to keep track of I am sure this was never an easy task! This taught me to always create lists to assist with everything.  Checking items off is always the best part!
  • Prepare a Timeline – Once your “to do” list has been created, you must review all projects to determine what is time sensitive and must be started right away, what can be delegated out and assisted by others, and what can be done in the future. Preparing a timeline will ensure every project is done in the timeframe needed.  Always remember to allow extra time when possible.  This is a life saver when challenges arise and help keep you calm and cool when projects don’t go as planned.
  • Follow up Prior to Deadlines – This is a must when you have delegated projects or responsibilities to others. Anything can happen when relying on partnerships with other staff as well as outside vendors.  Allowing extra time will assist when items get lost in the mail, printers go down and in Florida we can’t always predict the bad weather we may receive causing power outages and computers to be inaccessible.  Remember my motto… hope for the best, plan for the worst and be prepared for anything in between!
  • Communicate Challenges – This is very important and should never be forgotten. Communication regarding any challenges big or small will always allow for alternative solutions and a plan of action to make it happen!  The realities of life are that people get sick, flat tires, accidents and missed flights happen, people don’t always reply back on our timelines, computers and printers don’t always want to work with us!  When you know there are challenges always let others know – even if it is a false alarm.  Handle it or communicate it!
  • Just Breathe! – This is my favorite and most forgotten tip! When you take the time to breathe, you can evaluate any situation, determine possible solutions and remind yourself you can manage the work and personal challenges that may come your way.  Being calm under pressure will allow you to think clearly, continue to respect others and allow solutions to be created.

JJ Pic 3Most of us are so overwhelmed each and every day with so many work responsibilities that we sometimes forget what day of the week it is, what our priorities JJ Pic 2should be and how to even make it to another day.  Using these simple tips will allow you the ability to know what needs to be done, prioritize to make it all happen, remind you to ask for assistance when needed and in the end just breathe and enjoy a day at the beach!


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