You almost made it! It’s the day before your big party—it’s almost here! You’re so excited, but your mind is spinning. The stress is starting to build, how can you get a hold of yourself to pull off this party?
Here are three simple things you should add to your party planning routine to conquer that “day of stress”.
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
This sounds overly simplistic, but it makes all the difference. You know when your head hits the pillow before a big party, all the details that you need to remember start swirling in your brain. You may drift off only to startle awake at 2am with something you suddenly can’t remember if you addressed or not. This happens a couple more times throughout the night until, suddenly it’s 7am and your alarm is going off.
The first thing you need to do to combat this is get ahead of the game. This habit starts early with the days leading up to your party. The week of, try not to be on a screen past 8pm and don’t drink caffeine past 3pm.
The goal is to train your body to know when it’s time for rest. Another helpful tip is to take 5-10 minutes of mindful meditation to clear your mind of party details. You might even take a melatonin before hitting the hay. Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain that signals your body that it’s time for sleep. All three of these nighttime habits will set you up for a successful night of peaceful slumber. Your goal is to wake up refreshed and rested so that you can execute the party you’ve worked so hard planning for.
2. Create a timeline of tasks.
This will be a helpful step to fight off the brain tornado that happens the day of a party. For example, if you know you can’t put your centerpieces out until half an hour before doors open, add that to the proper window of time in your timeline. If you need to brew coffee at a certain time so it’s fresh and hot, add it to your timeline.
Let’s say your event is an evening one. Break down your timeline into four, three hour sections—9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm and 6pm-9pm. The last block of hours will include tasks or activities throughout the party and then cleanup following the party. You can be flexible with the specific hours depending on when your party is slated to take place. Create your to-do list with blocks of time sectioned off and begin to fill them in.
An example would be:
- 9am—meet the chair rental vendor
- 11:30am—fill centerpiece vases with water
- 12pm—break for lunch
Pro tip: Always create time to eat and keep yourself fueled. If you don’t set aside time for it, the odds are you’ll get busy and skip a meal, leading you to run out of energy before you’ve even made it to the finish line!
Creating a timeline and breaking down day-of tasks into these categories helps you and your team know exactly what needs to happen and when. This ensures you aren’t forgetting anything and enables you to hand off tasks to assistants. Also, it ensures you aren’t wasting precious time worrying or stressing over all the things that need to happen. Instead, you tell yourself “Hey, it’s not 3pm, I don’t need to think about that yet”, then you move on to what’s next on the task list.
Start creating your task list in the 3-4 weeks leading up to your party. As things pop into your head, jot them down. Later when you sit down to go over your day of task list, fill those items into the timeline. Keeping an ongoing list will help ensure you’re not forgetting any of those important details.
3. Have plenty of help.
The last essential step to avoid overly stressing yourself out the day of your party is to make sure you have plenty of help. More importantly, schedule that help to come in shifts throughout the day. This will ensure that you always have a freshly energized team ready to knock things out.
Be sure not to forget to recruit some help for the mid and post-party cleanup. An awesome resource for a great cleanup crew is local college or high school students—these guys are usually willing to work for either volunteer hours or minimum wage. They’ve got plenty of energy to come in and reset chairs, run tables to your storage room, take out the trash, vacuum floors, etc.
It’s well worth working money into your budget to pay a team to come in for clean up, leaving you and your attendees to enjoy the party. If you give your cleanup crew a list and you’re there to direct them, they will make your load lighter and get things done quickly as well. Then you are free to get back home and unwind with some relaxation to celebrate your successful party.
Congratulations! You survived the day and pulled off a successful party without losing your cool!