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The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

The 10 Lists You Need to Make to Plan a Great Party or Event

Are you thinking about throwing a surprise birthday party for your best friend?

Maybe you want to organize a special retirement luncheon for your longtime coworker.

The easiest way to keep track of all the different tasks and activities associated with planning a function is to simply create lists. Splitting up your list into smaller ones allows you to focus on specific items at any given time.

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Here are 10 lists to create to help make your next event or party a success.

1. Theme list.

Are you going to have a specific theme for your party or event? Are you having a historical costume party, an under-the-sea event, an ’80s dance party, or a black-tie silent auction or raffle? This list is a good place to start collecting all the different details surrounding your particular theme, from special food, to props or decorations to purchase or rent. You can further break out all these different list items into any of the lists mentioned below for even more detail.

2. Budget list.

How much are willing to spend for your party or event? Is it a little…or is it a lot? You can approach building this list from two different angles. The first is to decide on the total amount of money you’re willing to spend for the whole event and start to divvy up your funds according to food, decorations and the like. Your second option is to start to price out the individual costs of food, decorations and rentals and come up with the total amount of money it will cost to throw your party.

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3. Invite list.

Whom do you want to invite to your event? This list can be more than just your list of guests. Who are the attendees, speakers, guests of honor, emcees, vendors, exhibitors, party or event helpers, and organizers? If you’re sending out invitations, you could also create a list with all the preliminary event details, such as the date, time, location, dress code, RSVP date and information, whether invitees can bring guests or not, and so on.

4. RSVP list.

Slightly different from your invite list, this list is a way to keep track of all the people who will be attending your event. Who’s coming? Are they bringing any guests? If so, how many? Do your invitees have any special requests or concerns when it comes to attending your event? Will people have any assistants, helpers, or workers coming with them the day of the event or party?

5. Decoration list.

What type of decorations are you going to have at your event? Will you have streamers, balloons, flowers, ribbons, centerpieces, sculptures, artwork, confetti, wall or freestanding signage, plastic toys, trellises, tablecloths, seat coverings or party favors? Use your imagination and write down everything that comes to mind that you might like to have when it comes to decorations.

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6. Food and drink list.

It’s time to eat, drink and be merry! Well, at least to list the items to do so, anyway. What items do you already have on hand and what items will you need to buy? Don’t forget to list out any recipes you’ll need to find or use when it comes to preparing refreshments. Something else to consider as you prepare your list: will you have to make a trip to one store or to many different stores?

7. Supplies list.

What supplies will you need to pick up? Do you need: tables, chairs, plates, knives, forks, spoons, serving dishes and bowls, scissors, tape, napkins, tablecloths, speakers, channel mixers, jacks, extension cords, trash bags or duct tape? Write down anything and everything you can possibly think of when it comes to supplies.

8. Music playlist.

Whether you’re DJing your own party or having a professional DJ mix tunes on the turntables, it helps to have a music playlist prepared and ready. You could make note of all the different songs you’d want to play at your event, or maybe you already have several playlists in mind you’d like to collect and play.

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9. Day-of-the-party/event to-do list.

This list will be your go-to guide for all the different tasks you need to attend to on the big day. Will you need to set up decorations, prepare food, buy last-minute supplies, do some cleaning, pick up guests from the airport or train station, set up tables and chairs, or set up electronic equipment?

10. Cleanup list

The party may be over, but that doesn’t mean your work is finished! Make a list of all the final items you’ll need to attend to, from returning supplies or decorations to their original owners, to taking out the trash, washing dishes, and mopping the floor. Besides, having a list in hand will make it easy to answer a guest who kindly asks you, “Is there anything I can do to help you?” Not too bad for making a list ahead of time, huh?

What party or event are you planning on throwing in the near future? What lists will you create to help you keep things organized and on track? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Free glitter background from user shaire productions via flickr.com

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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.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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