How to prevent burnout during event season
The Swng Team is here to give fellow creatives their best practices for event season.
Creative professionals, from photographers to calligraphers and musicians, generally have a busy event season whether it’s summer weddings or the corporate party circuit. Being busy is great, don’t get me wrong. But next thing you know, all of your weekends are booked with parties. Then you blink, and it’s two weeks of tech talks and music madness at SXSW.
Overbooking yourself during this time is easy, to the point you have to pencil in friends for 30 minute sessions. It’s also easy to work yourself to exhaustion late night after night. (Even night owls need to rest!) How do you prevent burnout during event season while taking advantage of as many job opportunities as possible?
PLAN IN ADVANCE FOR WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Things that are out of your control will happen, so have that expectation in your head. If—and when—something goes wrong, you can remain calm and find a solution instead of freaking out.
Plan in advance for things you can control, like anticipating traffic or parking issues. Get dates booked as early as possible for yourself and additional crew. If you need to rent a video camera or a specific brand of sound equipment, communicate to your vendors what you need in the budget and reserve it once that decision is finalized.
SET HARD DEADLINES FOR YOURSELF
You know your work ethic better than anyone. Find a balance between ambitious and reasonable deadlines. Once you’ve set realistic deadlines with yourself and your clients, stick to them.
You always want to turn in deliverables on time if not early, and it doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond what the client expects. Hitting your deadlines helps prevent a backlog of work which can sneak up real quick after back-to-back-to-back gigs.
CULTIVATE A COMMUNITY OF CREATIVE, THEN DELEGATE ROLES
Establishing and maintaining good relationships with other creatives in your community is a must! You will be more successful when you can hire solid people that you trust. If you are behind on your deadlines, delegate some of your roles while you catch up.
Having dependable people in your community is key to not burning yourself out and keeping your clients happy with your performance. Plus, spreading the wealth is always good karma.
OVER COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR VENDORS
Get to know your vendors and don’t be afraid to over communicate about details for the event. Knowing those details will help you plan in advance, and create a clear and concise call sheet.
Preparing a call sheet for yourself, vendor and your team will help you avoid any miscommunication about the location of the event, expected start and end time, what equipment people need to bring, and what to expect at the event. Make sure to include everyone’s phone numbers in case of an unexpected problem.
Your call sheet is also a chance to set the tone of the event. Share with your vendor and team how much you’re looking forward to working everyone. This helps sets a positive tone, and good energy is much needed in these fast-paced environments.
MOVE YOUR BODY & MEDITATE
At some point during event season you will hit a wall: coffee stops working, you’ve only eaten tacos for three days, you forget what your bed looks like. Hitting that wall can be prevented by scheduling time to move and meditate. If you can set aside 30 to 45 minutes that’s awesome, but even meditating for 10 minutes will do you wonders.
By taking care of your mental health you will stay sharp and energized. At Swng, we love practicing yoga at various local studios, but if we’re pressed for time, we bust out the yoga mats in the living room and turn on a Black Swan Yoga TV video.
Putting yourself in the right headspace is critical. By being diligent with your health you keep creativity flowing, stay on top deadlines, avoid thoughtless mistakes like forgetting a key piece of your project, and continue to be a positive light while working with clients and fellow creatives.
We hope these tips help you stay sane during event season, from all of us at Swng, happy shooting!