I asked meeting planners from around the country to speak candidly about the time pressures they face. I’m not offering solutions in this article, but just so that you know you’re not alone, here is what I was told, verbatim.
No freedom in Philly
“I always find myself wishing for more time. Since the day I signed up to be in this industry I have always been faced with pop-up urgencies that always hijack my day or my moment of focus. Because I am a hyper-focused person, those tend to not only take me way off track from meeting my daily objectives, they also leave me in a place of discouragement because I end up with a pile that is now double in size. Then I find myself asking how long can this go on?
“I get right back on track, with all good intentions, to complete my daily tasks, balance my life so that my family does not suffer, and solve the issues that popped up that day, which then becomes a vicious cycle of daily failures, which eventually turns into stress, condemnation and regret. I love what I do, but I am literally ‘maxed’ and cannot see how I can endure long-term.”
Overwhelmed in Omaha
“The days and weeks fly by, so keeping a good balance between work and personal life can be a challenge sometimes. Keeping my days structured is the most effective thing I have found to help this, and when that works, it really works. But when it gets off track (due to personal challenges, family commitments, etc.), it can be really hard to get back on track.”
“I feel constantly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of email and mail (both important and junk) that barrages me daily. I think it’s one of my biggest frustrations. I have to clean out and weed out what is not needed before I can even get started. I find it very frustrating.”
“Constant email from clients and vendors who want answers yesterday, constant follow-up with hotels who don’t respond to our request in a timely manner, phone calls from hotels even after I have asked them not to call for questions, but to email me so that I can give them more efficient answers to their questions.”
Overdoing it in Denver
Time, time isn’t always on my side. … I find myself to be the multi-tasker, but in the last several months, business for me has increased significantly. The juggling act is to the point where too many balls are falling. There is not enough time to service all my clients in the way that I feel is necessary because of so many interruptions, which are part of business, such as follow-up to vendors and suppliers, follow-up with clients, new meeting requests from them, training, conference calls, outside appointments and industry events.”
“I am continually interrupted mentally, consciously and subconsciously by my list or agenda of must-dos for the day, week, month. As I proceed through tasks, appointments, I wander back to what is undone … and how will they get done without enough time in the day … and not work more than 40 hours a week.”
“I work at home, and on a daily basis, I feel that I manage my time well once my children are out of the house. My challenges are with the distractions of motherhood … more of outside contributors than email or client demands.”
“Juggling too many things at one time with too many emails and interruptions — this includes multiple clients and programs at a time and finding time to take a break, eat lunch or go work out. When I go work out for an hour, I come back and feel guilty I haven’t responded to client requests. Additionally, I find too many excuses and don’t spend any time finding new business or networking [going to MPI events].”
Sound familiar? Share your stories and solutions in the comment box below.