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16 Tips for an Effortless Summer Outdoor Party

16 Tips for an Effortless Summer Outdoor Party

Summer may be nearly over, but there is still time for at least a few more fun summer outdoor parties before the cooler weather hits. You have plenty of time to plan the summer party to end all summer parties, and you can make sure that you and your guests have loads of fun with the following 16 party planning tips.

1. Set a Date

Before planning a party, it is a good idea to contact everyone you plan on inviting to make sure that they are going to be available.
Resource to help you: The Kitchn

2. Set a Time

Every party has its stragglers, and once the meal is done, you likely won’t feel like firing up the barbecue to cook more food. Make sure that everyone knows what time you plan on serving food, so hungry guests will be sure to arrive on time.
Resource to help you: NeedToMeet

3. Send Invitations

These days, people tend to be informal, but it is still nice to receive an actual printed invitation to a party. It shows your guests that you have actually put some thought into it, and that you really want them there.
Resource to help you: Evite

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4. Rain Date

You never know what the weather is going to be like. Heck, most of the time the weatherman doesn’t even get it right! Make sure that you have a rain date planned, so if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there will still be a party.
Resource to help you: HGTV

5. Ask about Allergies

To ensure everyone has a great time, ask if your guests have any food allergies so you can be sure to prepare foods they can enjoy.
Resource to help you: AAAAI

6. Proper Attire

No one likes to show up at a party under or over-dressed. Make sure that the invitation specify what kind of party it is. If you are having a pool party, let everyone know that bathing suits and flip-flops are perfect attire.
Resource to help you: Emily Post

7. Bathroom Facilities

It is a lot easier to rent a port-a-potty than it is to have people traipsing through your home all night to use the rest room.
Resource to help you: PortaPotty

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8. Seating

Most of us don’t have enough lawn chairs for more than a half a dozen people or so. You have a couple of options for seating. You can rent chairs for the party, or if it is a really informal event, make sure that the invitations tell guests to bring their own lawn chairs.
Resource to help you: Party Rental LTD

9. Extension Cords

Make sure that any extension cords are pinned to the ground so no one trips and falls.
Resource to help you: Brit+Co

10. Lighting

It is getting darker earlier now, so you need to make sure that you have plenty of lighting for a nighttime party. There are all kinds of great ways to light up an outdoor party. Patio lanterns are always a great choice, and another option is to use strings of white holiday lights.
Resource to help you: Pinterest

11. Kids

If anyone is bringing kids, plan some activities for them as well, such as sprinkler games, water volleyball, etc.
Resource to help you: Activity Village

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12. Decorations

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on decorations for your party. Hit up your local dollar store for fun items such as paper globes, table cloths, etc. A piñata is great decorative item that is fun as well.
Resource to help you: Babble

13. Mosquitoes

No summer party is complete without mosquitoes, but you can keep them at bay. Make sure there is no standing water, plug in fans, use citronella candles, and offer bug wipes to your guests.
Resource to help you: The Family Handyman

14. Music

Bring the speakers outside, but don’t crank it so the whole neighborhood can hear the music. Play classic tunes that everyone loves.
Resource to help you: Last FM

15. Keep Cool

Have hand-held fans for your guests to help them stay cool, as well as some cold compresses and plenty of ice.
Resource to help you: Apartment Therapy

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16. Cleanup

Make sure that there are plenty or garbage cans around so there is a place for people to toss paper plates, napkins, etc.
Resource to help you: Oh Happy Day

Featured photo credit: Patrick via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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