You know the type: they ask a thousand questions, take up your valuable time – and then disappear. The time waster never actually works with you, but is always willing to take plenty of free advice. I watch travel agents struggle with this type of individual continually. How do you control a time waster? Read the rest of this entry »
There are times when the business of travel planning can be a bit overwhelming. There are bills to pay, meetings to attend and marketing that needs to be done. Clients are calling with completely unreasonable requests and that hotel still has not paid the commission on a trip completed in June. Your desk is covered in paper.
The drawbacks to disorganization are all too familiar to me. I’m not a detail person, and my inability to work methodically shows. I clean my offices in flurries of activity and almost always uncover some important detail that was due to be completed yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
Though not one of the 7 deadly sins, procrastination has to have made it pretty high on the list. Travel professionals who procrastinate know the mounting sense of foreboding that it creates – the feeling of impending crisis. Most of us who procrastinate are expert at coming up with reasons for our actions, and almost all of us are certain that we “work best under pressure.” It is a self-fulfilling prophecy – wait long enough to accomplish a task and there will be plenty of pressure to go around. The key to overcoming procrastination is to recognize it when it is occurring, to affirmatively work through the reasons not to procrastinate and then to move into action on the task. Read the rest of this entry »
What does effective time management have to do with marketing? It is a well known syndrome that travel professionals, like other business people, often spend so much time involved in the day to day operations of their business that they spend far too little time actually thinking about their business. When schedules fill up, when there is no time left for planning and evaluation, business starts to flat line. Without effective time management skill, the travel agent has no time to think about their marketing plan or to evaluate the success of marketing efforts. Promotion of the business begins to take a back seat to running the business, marketing happens sporadically and in bursts rather than as part of a well-executed plan. Effective time management ensures that the time is available for marketing to get its appropriate allocation. Read the rest of this entry »
The best single time management tool is a to-do list. It is a simple but powerful tool, easy to understand and maintain. In one place all of the jobs you have to do, lined up and waiting action, prioritized in order of importance. Well, in theory that is how a to-do list should operate. In reality, we all tend to use our to-do lists in a hit or miss fashion. Yet, we also know how effective a well maintained to-do list can be – so perhaps a short review of how to keep one is in order.
A good to-do list assists you to remember all of the tasks you have at hand. When under pressure, we tend to focus on a few items at the expense of others and may actually forget important jobs. A to-do lists allows us to tackle important tasks first, without losing track of the need to complete other items. The to-do lists also functions as an activity journal – an important tool helping to determine how wisely you are spending your time. Read the rest of this entry »
As a travel agent, your day is busy. You know time management is important. You try to be reasonably efficient and make an effort not to waste time. Each minute of every day seems filled, yet there is always more to do. You want your efforts at time management to make you more productive, not just a reshuffling of the order in which you accomplish your tasks. How to begin?
If you have ever gone on a diet, you know the first step is often to make a record of your eating habits. So too, we want to keep a journal of how we spend our time. A good activity journal will assist you in mapping out exactly how you use your time. You might be surprised to discover as much as an entire hour each day devoted to activities that don’t really contribute to productivity. Read the rest of this entry »
As unfair as things can sometimes seem, we all get the same number of hours in a day. Some travel agents, however, are better than others at using the time allotted. Balancing the workday with leisure time, personal life and family time is a prime objective for most travel professionals. People who learn to effectively manage their time are almost inevitably good at most aspects of their business life, functioning effectively even when the pressure is on. Fortunately, time management is a skill that can be learned. This week, we will review a few key principles that can set you on the path to effective time management skills. Read the rest of this entry »