Lots of businesses, from CPA firms to ski lodges, have an intense busy season. And if you work in one that does, as is the case in trade shows, you come to accept that all the planning in the world won’t save you from having your hair on fire at those times.
So what to do? Well, there’s a ton of management tips out there that can help you use your time more effectively. But we think it’s equally important to simply take good care of yourself during crunch time, for which we offer the following tips:
#1. Exercise more: It seems ironic that during your busiest season you should probably spend more time, not less, working out. But the truth is, every minute you exercise will reward you many times over by both increasing your stamina and reducing your stress.
#2. Eat right: Stick to a diet that delivers sustained energy throughout your work day, including plenty of whole grains and vegetables. Avoid sugary snacks that can perk you up but make you crash. And never, ever skip breakfast. (Happily, you may find that doing these things will also keep you from gaining stress-related weight during the busy season.)
#3. Unplug, recharge: Put aside some time, even if only on weekends, to do that one thing you find most joyous and restorative—whether it’s golf, watching old Meg Ryan movies or just doing nothing with someone close. Absolutely forbid yourself to think about work the whole time.
#4. Easy on the Starbucks A caffeine lift may help you squeeze out a couple more hours of work, but too much will eventually grind you down. Drink plenty of fresh, pure water instead and you’ll end up with more energy to bring to your projects.
#5. Celebrate successes: Whenever you meet a goal, however small, smile and take a mental victory lap. Even the most challenging crunch time is really just a string of smaller tasks and treating it that way will keep things in perspective and help you cope.
#6. Accentuate the positive: We saved our most important advice for last. A positive frame of mind is the ultimate game-changer because it makes each burden lighter and everything you do more satisfying. Like any good habit, seeing the sunny side of things gets easier with practice. So keep that chin up and smile.
Here’s wishing you every success in getting through your busy event and trade show season—and enjoy the quieter days of summer ahead!