Face it, when it comes to selling travel, the end result is comprised of a million (or so it seems) tasks. There are follow-ups, deadlines, more follow-ups, more deadlines, deposits, payments, document deliveries, and more! How do you handle it?
Your tasks need to get done today, this week, or this month. Some are big, some are small. Some are important, some are mundane. Some are urgent, some are less pressing.
Where to start?
Everyone has a suggestion on how to manage your workflow. And there are many valid aspects to each; but the fact of the matter is that you are going to accomplish your tasks—or you’re not. The trick is to maximize your chances of getting it done and developing a “to-do” system that works for you. Here are four suggestions that might work for you
Start With the High-Energy Tasks
These are the ones you absolutely hate to do. The angry client, whose trip was “ruined” by something you did. The meeting with your accountant to review your taxes. Maybe it is the annual review of the agent in your office that is just not cutting it any longer. They are the tasks that taunt and daunt you the most. Tackle them and you will instantly feel a sense of accomplishment…because after all it is easier to just put them off. Crossing these items off will get the momentum going.
Start With the Easiest Tasks
Sometimes it is a great motivator to see the tasks eliminated. If that gets you going, start with the easy ones. Checking your junk mail folder, filing the new brochures, changing up your voicemail message. They all take little to no energy and the sense of accomplishment (look how much I did today) will be a boost to keep you going.
Start With the Most Important Tasks
Think of the one or two things that must be accomplished this week and tackle them. These are the ones that make a big difference—paying the rent, prospecting for clients, sending out the newsletter (that will result in deposits for trips), updating your website or social media pages. I tend to consider these tasks the “moneymakers.” I never plan to accomplish them all, but if I apply the 80/20 rule, handling 20% will get me 80% of the results I need.
Start With the Most Urgent Tasks
As opposed to the important tasks, the urgent ones absolutely must get done. These are the ones with a hard and fast deadline—the final payment to a travel supplier, setting up your booth at the travel show, catching a flight to your latest FAM. These are the tasks that will weigh on your mind. By tackling them first, you get them out of the way and you can carry on with the rest of your work without worrying that you might run out of time.
Now of course, how you manage your workflow will be different than how I do it. I use an old-fashioned pen and paper to manage mine. I have the urgent tasks on top in red as a visual. From there, depending on my weekly schedule, I list the other less pressing (but equally important) tasks for completion. Most of the times, it is a hybrid. I like the sense of accomplishment of crossing off tasks (easiest), I like the impact on my bank account that the important ones have. And unfortunately, I tend to put the high-energy tasks last. Give me confrontation, and I will avoid it as long as possible. That is my weakness and one that I recognize.
How do you manage yours? Leave a comment!