I am very blessed that my work happens to be in weddings since I can never get in trouble for perusing wedding blogs or tweeting interesting things I happen to read. But I wasn't always in the wedding biz... in fact, when I got engaged and started planning my wedding, I was working as a business consultant. Even though I shared a cubicle on site, at the client, with half of my team, I still couldn't resist the occasional (and sometimes not so occasional) perusing of wedding-related awesomeness. It wasn't easy and a lot of times I would leave work with a guilty conscious knowing that I spent way too much time looking at wedding dresses when I should have been working on my excel model.
As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and since this is the start of a new year and a lot of couples get engaged over the holidays, I want to share with you some tips and advice I learned about planning my wedding at work.
1. Be mindful of your surroundings and prioritize what you need to do for work over what you want to do for your wedding. This one will be hard, but it is super important. Obviously you don't want to be caught looking at wedding blogs when you are supposed to be doing something else, like taking notes in a meeting or putting together secondary research for your team. Work is work and it will still need to be there in good shape after your wedding happens. So take care to make sure you don't tarnish it.
2. Give yourself "wedding planning time" as a reward for accomplishing a dreaded work-related task. Have you been meaning to put those expense reports together but just haven't done it? Well, now you have an incentive. Once you've done the dirty work, give yourself permission to have a little fun.
3. Set a time limit for yourself and/or a single task. There are a million little and big things that need to be done for your wedding. You will not be able to get through them all in one sitting but if you don't monitor yourself, time will fly by. What you thought was going to take 10 minutes has now taken over an hour and that presentation you were supposed to be working on is due on your boss' desk in five minutes! Unfortunately, the excuse, "Sorry, I was looking at wedding venues," isn't going to cut it.
4. Turn the sound off on your computer. Nothing is worse than finding yourself in a quiet office with your colleagues working silently nearby when all of the sudden music/noise/whatever begins blaring from your speakers. Do yourself a favor and avoid the certain embarrassment and either always wear headphones or just simply keep your computer on mute.
5. Learn how to quietly and efficiently use Alt-Tab or Ctrl-Tab (I work on a PC so I have no idea what the equivalent would be for a Mac). These nifty little keys will help you shift between open documents you are looking at (Alt-Tab) or online pages (Ctrl-Tab). Go ahead, give it a try!
Bottom line, as much as you may want to, don't let wedding planning interfere with your work. The dream wedding you are planning at work probably will need to be funded, at least in part, from the salary you are earning now, so don't jeopardize that! If you are tight on time, stress, energy, etc. do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner :)