We are all faced with distractions in our everyday lives. Some are good, and some not so good. How do you handle distractions in your work life? At times I find it difficult to stay focused with so much going on and seemingly being pulled in a million different directions. I am sure many of you can relate to this as well. To be honest, since returning from three weeks of traveling in Europe and with so much work to do, I have found it extremely difficult to get into “the zone”. Distractions seem to be everywhere lately, and jetlag and changing time zones didn’t make it any easier to jump back in. With much to catch upon, work and personal, it has almost been overwhelming with the “where do I start?” question coming up daily. Of course the answer is “at the beginning”, but where is the beginning? Where do you start when you have so much to do?
My first task was to take care of the urgent items. I jumped on these less than 24 hours from returning to the States. Once those were underway, I took a little breather and let my body adjust back to Central Time. From that point on, I have been in priority mode. Identifying what my daily priorities are, making a list of those, tackling them first and then, if time allows, moving on to the items of lower priority. Of course with new incoming requests and clients traveling at different times, the daily priorities do change. However, having a daily list to work from helps me to focus without an inordinate amount of actual planning.
Many times working on the perfect itinerary for my clients can be a distraction. If what they are asking for is new to me, it can add more research time and some hesitation. Another approach I have found helpful is to discuss any travel uncertainties with my trusted colleagues. Being a home-based agent at times can be a struggle: not having other professionals around to share ideas, ask recommendations and opinions, and learn about a destination or resort that I may not know about or haven’t been to, is a disadvantage. I do rely heavily on those in the industry that I trust. We help each other and converse almost daily via private Facebook groups, private messaging, and email. It’s a win-win for all and has helped immensely when I am “stuck.” I am able to stay more focused and not go off in the wrong direction or worse, project a lack of confidence. Talking it through with those who understand is a great help.
Lastly, I find that stepping away for a break or taking a walk to clear my head helps in not being as distracted. When I return, many times I can breeze through a task and am more eager to work on it. What techniques have worked for you? How do you deal with distractions and staying focused in your day-to-day environment?
Stephanie Cannon is the owner of Honeymoons Designed, a home-based agency located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been a professional travel consultant since 2006 and specializes in Romance Travel. Her focus is on customizing unique, authentic and unforgettable experiences. Most of her client base consists of couples celebrating a honeymoon, destination wedding, anniversary, or vow renewal. She is a recent Certified Tahiti Specialist and currently enrolled in the CTA program.