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No matter who signs your paycheck, multitasking is part and parcel of your job as an in-house event planner. On a single morning, you toggle from researching vendors to brainstorming a theme for next year’s annual sales summit. At the same time, you're scouting a site for a conference and booking a villa for a corporate retreat. If you work for a nonprofit instead, the planning hat is only one of the many you have to wear, so multitasking has become second nature to you.
The natural consequence is multitasking blues. Decreased productivity, increased risk of errors, and low morale and job satisfaction are some of the side effects of being a serial multitasker.
But if you take advantage of the event planner gig economy, independent experts can ease your workload so you can do your job better and faster. You'll still have to multitask, but with a manageable number of responsibilities.
Let's dig deeper into multitasking and how gig workers can help in-house event planners like you beat the multitasking blues.
Why Multitasking Is Bad for You and Your Organization
You don't have a choice as an in-house event planner: Being able to multitask is a top requirement of any event planning job.
Only it shouldn't be.
Multitasking vs. Monotasking
Experts say most of us can process only one stream of information at a time and prepare a good response to it. So, most humans are monotaskers.
Task switching decreases your productivity by up to 40 percent, according to Psychology Today.
If you're like most people, you tend to work on a single task until it requires less of your attention and you feel you can put more on our plate. That's when you think you're multitasking. Only it's just an illusion.
The Dangers of Multitasking
Psychologists say multitasking is actually task switching, as you cannot do more than one mental task at once. So, you think you're multitasking but in reality, you're just good at switching tasks — and wasting time. You can't switch from one task to another without losing your focus — and wasting precious minutes. So, on a single day, task switching decreases your productivity by up to 40 percent, according to Psychology Today. That's costly for any organization.
For you, low productivity means you're constantly behind schedule and working overtime to catch up. This is a recipe for low job satisfaction, low morale, and even burnout. Not to mention harsh employee evaluation reports. And no productivity bonus. Ouch!
In short, for event planners, multitasking is ineffective. Doing more than one thing at a time takes you longer, and you tend to make mistakes.
Are Event Planners Supertaskers?
Supertaskers are those 2 percent of people who can effectively juggle with more than one task at a time. But they're almost unicorns. The vast majority of people are and will remain monotaskers.
If that sounds far-fetched, it's because you probably know someone who can do certain things at once — like answering a call and taking notes. But that's only because they've practiced those tasks so much they've become automatic. Routine work demands little attention.
Luckily, an event planner doesn't know the word "routine." Most of what you do requires decision making and finding creative solutions to new problems. Turning stakeholders' conflicting visions for a product launch party into reality, developing marketing materials, negotiating with suppliers, and everything else requires your full focus.
"Don't try to multitask. It ruins productivity, causes mistakes, and impedes creative thought," says Professor Earl Miller from MIT in an Inc.com article.
To avoid the multitasking blues, do things in batches. For instance, select the vendors for several events the same day. Then spend the next day brainstorming themes for those events.
Another thing you can do to minimize multitasking is delegating. And that's where the gig economy comes in.
How Event Planners Can Leverage the Gig Economy
You can't take multitasking out of your job description. But you can do something to cut down the number of tasks you have to get done each day. Outsource some of them to other experts to save time.
What's the Gig Economy?
The gig economy is thriving for a reason. Organizations need to do more with their limited number of in-house resources.
So they contract freelancers or independent consultants for temporary jobs (aka "gigs"). These independent workers are the so-called gig workers.
According to CNBC, there were 60 million of them in the U.S. in 2018. The same source says Fortune 500 companies are increasingly outsourcing many activities to contract workers. This allows these companies to focus on their core activities including manufacturing and sales. By doing so, they control costs and increase productivity.
How do you take advantage of the gig economy as an event planner, or as a company with an in-house event planner? First, you have to choose between agencies and freelancers.
Agency or Freelance Event Planner?
When you need to choose whether to work with a freelancer or an agency, some of the things to consider are cost, expertise, and experience. And they're all connected.
Freelancers may seem cheaper than agencies upfront. In practice, you may end up spending more because of the risk of hiring a non-expert freelancer.
You can do what some organizations do: use platforms like UpWork, Fiverr, and the like to recruit a freelance event planner. But everyone's an alleged expert or professional today.
To hire an actual event planner professional with expertise is not as easy as posting a job and selecting the lowest bidder. You'll need to spend time vetting the applicants, checking their background and certifications, testing their expertise, browsing their portfolios, and perhaps even doing a trial project.
To hire an actual event planner professional with expertise is not as easy as posting a job and selecting the lowest bidder. Why waste time vetting when you can easily contract for the hours your project needs through a reliable agency like Nifty Method?
In essence, to find the great freelance professionals out there, you'd have to fish for them in an ocean of trolls and newbies. Patiently.
A reliable event planning agency like Nifty Method Marketing & Events already has a team of experts ready to take up the job. It also has tried and tested processes, up-to-date technology, and the industry connections needed to ensure the job is done fast and smooth.
Finally, the agency's experts will know how to get the best rates on group travel, save on event venue renting, and maximize the outreach of media campaigns. That translates into cost savings for you.
Whether you're a company or a nonprofit, Nifty Method Marketing & Events provides affordable services, as you can access expert event talent in buckets of time. Vetted certified event professionals will take the tasks you need off your plate. All you have to do is choose the number of expert hours you need month to month for your event's success.
Beat the Multitasking Blues Today
Event planners shouldn't aim to be multitaskers. Multitasking is ineffective in a job that requires constant mental focus and creativity. It reduces productivity, increases the risk of errors, and wastes time. That's costly for any organization.
Expert event planners can take the burden of multitasking off you. Get in touch with Nifty Method Marketing & Events today and let's see what we can do for you.