It’s time to take a step back and clear your head, and your desk. Your office is a pretty good reflection of your inner world – frightening, isn’t it? Now is a good time to de-clutter your business life, to start the balance of the year fresh and to remember the “why” of travel planning. The way you feel about your travel planning practice is communicated in your every contact with clients. For better or worse, your travel practice will reflect the “inner you.” If you fail to periodically refresh your perspective and recommit yourself, the message you will be sending may be other than what you intend. For launching out on a fresh start, taking a hard look at your office is a great place to begin.
Clutter can be hard to face first thing every morning. Yes, you may know where everything is, but piles of paper and notes, itineraries and marketing collateral can create a subtle feeling of being overwhelmed. Begin by completely clearing your desk of everything. Everything. Remove the paper, the calendar, the computer screen, your phone, the stapler, the pens…you get it. Find the bottom of that desk. Now, only put back the few things that you need as essentials – but not the work product. Now, clear off another surface in your office and begin to organize. Find a place for your office tools like rulers and staplers that does not interfere with your main work area but are still in easy reach. Start files for all of the materials you have “been meaning to” file. Get yourself a “to do” basket and place your undone filing there instead of on your desk.
This is also a good time to re-evaluate your bookshelves and other bins. Get rid of the out of date books and that 1997 copy of the Official Tour Directory. Chuck those half finished projects in which you no longer have any real interest.
Now that things are looking a bit better on the outside, it’s time to turn to your head and do a bit of de-cluttering there too. All work and no play makes you a less pleasant, efficient travel planner. Commit to giving yourself some breathing room to introduce new elements of creativity into your work environment. Set aside a bit of time each day for reading consumer magazines and other periodicals that will keep you aware of what culture at large is thinking. Plan to give yourself some scheduled time each week for exercise, walking and fresh air. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it.
Finally, commit to some time each week to work on your business rather than in your business. Planning, evaluation and thoughtful execution of your business plan, your marketing efforts and your marketing calendar all require their own space. Find a way to give yourself the time to be good at what you do best.
Who knows? With a bit of spring cleaning, your own refreshed perspective might be all it takes for your own personal economic rebound!