There are only so many hours in a day. And let's be honest: Wedding planning takes several of them. So who could blame you for trying to squeeze in vendor interviews and venue searches in between responding to work emails and prepping a presentation.
But beware: Using work hours to plan your wedding won't earn you employee of the year. In fact, it could make your boss upset. "Any waste of company resources is cause for an employer to get angry," explains Heather Huhman, career consultant and founder of Come Recommended. "While you should be excited to be planning your wedding, most employers won't share that excitement. Instead, they see the loss of productivity as dollars going out the window, which no manager is pleased about."
So if you need to use time from 9 to 5 to wedding plan, consider these fire-proof tips from the pros.
Take a break
Most companies offer employees short five to 20 minute breaks throughout the day to grab coffee, stretch their legs, or sneak a snack. Any time you step away for such a break is a good time to "check smaller items off your wedding to-do list," says Huhman.
Plan how you'll spend each break
You can't use your break effectively, however, if you don't know what you need to get done. "The key here is to plan ahead," Huhman says. "Take time the night before to see what items you have on your list and what you think you can fit into a break. Don't attempt to take care of things that will extend past your break time, because you may succumb to the temptation to keep working on them during work hours."
Eat and plan
Does this sound like your typical lunch break? "If brides are accustomed to quickly eating lunch at their desk with a sandwich in one hand and iPhone in another, lunch time could be a welcome change from working nonstop from actual work to wedding planning," says Vicki Salemi, career expert and author of Big Career in the Big City, "and then toggling back to work to use it for just that — taking a break away from one's desk to focus on one thing only — eating lunch."
Use your commute
Sure, it's not technically planning while at work — unless you log serious hours in transit on the job — but commuting is an effective time for making phone calls. "It could feel like the commute goes by faster, and simultaneously she may feel a sense of accomplishment having crossed at least one thing off her list once she reaches her destination," Salemi says.
Make your to-do list mobile
Keeping a list of your wedding needs on your phone means your to-do list is always with you and you can "take advantage of that when you have down-time in the office," says Huhman. "Got five minutes before your meeting while everyone is getting settled? Send an email to your photographer or caterer. Just make sure you're not focusing on wedding planning when you should be working, and you'll be fine."