Well – when I agreed to do this column for the year, I never envisioned that it would end up being a True Confessions column dishing all the dirty little secrets. But refreshing to know that we all are not alone! However- given some of the responses I have received I seemed to have hit a chord with quite a few people. So let the blood-letting continue!
First things first. Last month’s column I talked about struggling with time management – sitting at my desk for too many hours and not giving myself enough personal time to enjoy life – which unfortunately had the strange effect of making me less productive! I vowed to take some time each morning for myself – catch up on my community’s news and actually be showered and dressed and ready for the day by the time I sat down at my desk. So how did I do?
The first week and a half I did great! I was up and ready and was actually able to enjoy a cup of coffee or two with my husband. Let me tell you – he loved it and couldn’t stop talking about how nice it was. Then life got a bit hectic and I still enjoyed the coffee time – but I have to admit the ‘showered and ready’ part of the deal eluded me. Last week I sputtered and coughed through sleepless nights with a cold – so dragging myself to the computer and trying to think was the best I could accomplish.
But it’s the start of a new day and a new week – and here I sit freshly scrubbed and ready for the day! So how did all of you do?
Now – what are we going to drag out of the closet and expose to the light of day this month? How about all those Agent Educational Opportunities that bombard our emails every day? How many have you signed up for? Or better yet…how many have you completed?
I am a self admitted “education junkie.” When I first got into the business I took a two-year course, attended just about every convention, completed my CLIA certification up to ECC, and then added the CTA. I absolutely loved the Princess Cruises Commodore program when it first came out and the Magic of Mexico program fed my addiction wonderfully. I remember lamenting that more programs like this weren’t around.
Be careful what you wish for – right? Now it seems that every third email is urging us to complete some webinar or certification program for a product or destination. So many of them sound like “must do’s” for our particular niche – so we rush off to sign up.
But in reality – how many of us have had the experience of an Outlook reminder popping up to remind us of a webinar we signed up for, only to discover that we signed up for two other ones at the exact same time? Or heading over to a webpage to sign up for a specialist course and realize we already signed up for it – and have no recollection of doing so? How many incomplete (or never really started) projects do we all have lying around? I can count about 6 biggies right off the top of my head!
So this month’s challenge–should you choose to accept it–is to make an actual list of all the programs or trainings and programs you may have signed up for or purchased and have yet to complete. Re-evaluate them all and decide which ones still make sense for you to complete, and let yourself off the hook for the ones that don’t. Then make a commitment to complete just one of them this month. That may mean setting aside one morning to power through a shorter course or figuring out how to allocate a few hours each week to get to a larger one. Don’t worry about your whole “to-do” list, just complete one and let the sense of accomplishment be your reward for the month. Next month pick a second one to complete!
Lets recap our journey together:
- Up, showered and dressed for the start of the day.
- Complete just one educational program or goal this month.
If we use our collective energy to do this together – can you imagine what life could look like by next year at this time?
Barbara Oliver is a 8 year veteran of the industry operating two independent travel companies All Together Now Travel and Romantic Journeys (both currently being redesigned) in the Los Angeles Area. In addition to her agencies she is theLos Angeles director of NACTA as well as a regular attendee and frequent panelist at many trade shows. She has her CTA from The Travel Institute and her ECC from CLIA.