I’ve been preparing and in the midst of the State Fair marathon for about eight months now. At “T minus 10” days until opening ceremonies, I’m starting to not only put in long hours, but the pace is alarming. I’m no stranger to working 16-hour days, seven days a week–that part I can handle; it’s keeping it together mentally, physically and professionally that is imperative. A lack of sleep can cause difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, loss of energy, fatigue, lethargy, and emotional instability–NOT the picture you want to paint for your clients or staff.
For your next marathon project at work, here’s a list of suggestions to get you to the finish line:
- don’t skip meals, drink lot’s of water (limit soft drinks & alcohol intake)
- take breaks every two hours to stretch or walk
- make lists at the beginning and end of each day
- prioritize by “absolute must do’s” vs. “would like to do’s”
- set expectations for yourself, your clients and your staff
- check and double check all correspondence for accuracy
- deal with problems head on, then let go at some point, “it is what it is”
Nothing revolutionary, but important in keeping it all together for the good of the project. No one wants to do business with a grouchy, sleep-deprived maniac…I know because I’ve been her before…and she’s not pretty.
I’m keeping things short and sweet this week because I am in the home stretch, but on my list of must do priorities was today’s article.
I’m trying to avoid “blow up,” an endurance term to avoid during times of high stress. To blow up means to suddenly be unable to maintain a racing pace or high intensity and having to stop or slowdown dramatically (due to overexertion, bonking, or general fatigue). And bonking is what happens when you run out of energy due to low glycogen levels and/or dehydration; a terrible lightheaded, dizzy, empty feeling. Also known as “hitting the wall”. If you hit the wall, you’re not an effective leader in any way.
So as I head out the door today, I don my comfortable shoes, my breakfast bar, my gallon of water and my sanity…the finish line is in sight and I’m on pace to finish at my personal best!
Very helpful…I’m doing these long days for the first time in my life and I need the strategies to survive it! Thanks
Linda C Smith says
Terrific list! At one point in my working life I worked as the marketing director for a fairly large United Way…and one of my tasks was coordinating large events. You are so correct when you say that if you…as coordinator…don’t take care of yourself, you’ll implode. And that just should not happen because on event day, that saying that goes “everything that could go wrong will go wrong” comes true and you need both your wits and creative thinking actively working. I think the only thing I’d add to your list would be the master plan…develop it and stick with it [some minor changes are inevitable] but it is the overall blueprint. Oh, and always remember that things outside your control are just that: outside your control. Don’t sweat the unnecessary. I’m adding my cheers for a successful fair season for you.
Chrysty Fortner says
Thank you ladies…now that the fair is over, I’m getting caught up on emails and comments. THANK you for your addition…and you’re so right in pointing out there is a point where we come to grips with things outside our control…and sometimes that’s the most comforting thought about it in the end…and it allows us to let it go. I’ll have PLENTY to write about the fair, but need a few days to recover. Cheers back.