::Technology Distractions and Building Margin::
With technology and brains requiring instant gratification, our culture has shifted into a paradigm that involves little to zero margin. Overscheduled, worn out busy bees that aren’t enjoying the moments in life because we are multi-tasking even our entertainment. Confession: I don’t dare watch The Bachelor without obsessively refreshing my Twitter to catch alumni commentary. Big Brother, don’t worry, they have a live feed 24/7 so we can always know what is going on.
While this can be fun, I see something terribly wrong with this shift. I see it affecting people skills, relationships and general expectations for professional environments. Gone are the days of pro-active and forward thinking and here enters hand-holding.
You’re thinking “sure, whatever, what does that have to do with planning my wedding?”
I’ll start with Pinterest. When was the last time you genuinely created something unique and all your own – with your own brain cells and not spun from a Pinterest knock off? Pinterest.is.awesome. But it’s overwhelming, it clutters your vision, depletes you of creativity AND worst, it gives you a champagne taste on that beer budget you have. Yup, calling you on that! You cannot have a Pinterest, blog worthy, wedding on the average wedding budget anymore. Technology for the heartbreak.
I could go on with example after example similar to Pinterest that fry your brain and turn dad into a 24/7 ATM machine but I’ll spare you the mouthful.
<I’ll also insert some unsolicited marriage/new parent perspective: what I wouldn’t give to go back, shave things down at my wedding, and use the rest of the money towards our home purchase. Or paying off a car. We’re talking game changer, ya’ll.>
<<I’ll also mention that I love America and our big heads and our over the top celebrations and our deserve it all attitudes. Home of the brave, land of the free… the American dream and it totally includes kick ass weddings. So embrace it. Just maybe think about the future a bit, too. It so is not just about ONE day. And if you think it is… well, let me know when you need a planner for your second wedding.>>
Back to the blog.
We covered the creative side of technology distractions so let’s move into the time consuming, zombie making, side. The Walking Dead. That’s what millennials look like to me. I know some PR firm somewhere is like “OMG, she did not just say that.” Because you, my sweet bride, are likely a millennial. Awesome, my whole staff are millennials. Guys- being on your phone, all day, everyday is.killing.you. It’s wearing you out, it’s disrupting your ability to sleep well, it’s creating unrealistic expectations and it removes all margin from your life. The coolest thing I ever learned to do was to say ‘no’. As you plan your wedding, you will find more on your plate than you have ever likely experienced. It’s a full freaking time job. And when your planner says she needs your answers by such and such date, it’s not a line for Comedy Central. She’s drop dead serious, making it important for you to prioritize during this time.
All that to say, I want to leave you with practical ways to build margin in your life and highlight a few of the ways we do this as a team. We do this to avoid burnout. We do it so we are at our best for YOU. We do this so we are not distracted when you call. We do this with your best interest in mind.
Practical Tips for You:
-Are you tired? Don’t agree to happy hour tonight. After all, hot commodities are selective right?
-Does your body hurt? Go for a walk- get a massage. Take care of your body.
-Is someone asking you to volunteer? Say no. This is a busy season and you should not feel guilty. You will have lighter seasons in life for volunteering.
-Turn your phone off an hour before bed. Don’t check your emails or social media. It gets you amped up. Not to mention, Aunt Sally just pestered you over an email about the color of your linens and now you’re fuming and can’t go to sleep.
-When you go on vacation, disable the email on your phone. Put an away message on. I promise, people will live.
-Time block. If you don’t know about time blocking, do a little Google search and pat yourself on the back for an awesome find.
-Take a break from wedding planning. In our full service schedules, we build in breaks for you. It is as essential as breathing. You can’t fire on all wedding cylinders at all times without totally crashing into a wall of ‘I hate my wedding day’ because my expectations were this but reality provides this.
-Enter wedding planning knowing that it will require taking time off of work. Look ahead and plan accordingly. Vendors are working weddings on weekends so if they are willing to meet with you, how many appointments are they taking on your wedding day? Weigh this in your hiring decisions- are you okay if they are not accessible for a few hours on your wedding day?
How do we, at Heavenly Day, build margin?
-That time blocking I mentioned- we live by it. We schedule time to work on each bride during the week. We certainly want to answer your emails promptly and will do that during time blocks dedicated to general email. But you’ll find times when we hit you hard with information. That is likely your time block for the day.
-Everything. I mean ev.er.y.thing. is by appointment only. Phone calls- we don’t just answer the phone and hope to remember all of your word vomit when we get off. Were we at our desk? Did we have your information in front of us? We want to… so please allow us to be prepared, to take notes, and have a hot chance of remembering all of your awesome ideas.
-Office hours. We build major margin by being protective of our office hours of 9-6pm, Mon-Fri. The event industry is non-stop. We have rotating shifts. As I speak, one team is gearing up for an event tonight. So, that means they didn’t come into the office until after lunch today. Can you imagine being expected to work all day every day, for about $30k, without benefits? If you text your quick question at 8pm, how many others are doing this? We ask that you please respect our evenings.
-And last but not least, unlike a lot of companies out there, we don’t overbook. We aren’t working 3 weddings every weekend. Occasionally, a coordinator will have a double header but only once or twice a year. And further, we don’t even work every weekend. We fiercely manage our bandwidth so you are not lost in the shuffle.
-Wait, not last. One more, por favor. We require full service catering for all events. Yes ma’am. Ya’ll have NO idea the work that goes into troubleshooting events that don’t have full service catering. You think planning a wedding is a full time job. HA! Managing a wedding day without full service catering is like WOWZA and honestly, it usually costs our brides more money in troubleshooting chargebacks anyway. Just avoid the stress and…. gasp <foreign concept ahead>…. trust your planner on this one.
If I could encourage you to do anything at all- it would be to slow down, listen to your gut… YOUR wishes and desires, not what the blogs tell you that they should be- not peer pressure and learn to say no. Have free time. Rest, rejuvenate, care for yourself by having margin. And trust your planner. I promise she isn’t avoiding you when she doesn’t reply within three hours. She is sincerely staying organized and being properly prepped for when she does reply.