“Down-Time” Is Learning Time | TravelResearchOnline

“Down-Time” Is Learning Time

What do you do when you find you have a little extra time on your hands at work?

Do you…

  • Clean your files?
  • Drink coffee?
  • Chat with fellow workers?
  • Complain?
  • Take a smoke-break?
  • Dream about your “dream” job?
  • Play on your computer?
  • Make personal phone calls?
  • Day dream?
  • Google?

I remember when I was younger my dad chastised me for simply answering, “I’m just killing a little time.” He told me in no uncertain terms that “time” was too precious to waste, and that I should put an end to this habit at once if I had any interest whatsoever to go on living pain free (I grew up in the days when a swift “pat on the butt” was not only acceptable, but expected now and then).

Just the other day I was reminded of “wasted down time” when I drove over to Home Depot to rent a piece of do-it-yourself equipment. It was not until I returned home that I discovered that the man responsible for renting me the “gizmo” gave me two parts that were not meant to operate together. I had wasted a good hour of my morning thanks to this “oversight”…and I was not pleased.
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I felt that this man should have known better. After all, he was the “professional” when it came to renting gizmos. I found myself (right or wrong) questioning the proper use of his downtime. How could he have been so lazy? His mistake/error/oversight affected me directly and made my life a bit more uncomfortable. And I thought sales people were suppose to make life easier for their customers!

I thought that if he was the “rental guy,” he should have had a firm grasp of his “rentals.” Since he did not use each and every tool himself, shouldn’t he be studying his wares each and every chance he gets…during his downtime? If he was the true “pro” rental man, shouldn’t he be the “pro rental man?”

Pick one. How do you use your downtime?

  • By improving your skills to better serve your customers?
  • By offering bogus apologies once you screw up somebody’s day?

How many mistakes could you avoid by using the minutes in each day learning more about what you do for a living? Could you save your customers time, money, stress, frustration, and needless “do-overs” by being just a little better at what you do for a living? I think the answer is “yes.”

Becoming the best doesn’t come easy. Studying and practicing is not a common practice for most adults. Being the best at what you do takes a concentrated effort. It is time that we exert a little more effort and focus on incremental improvement.

Downtime. Look for it. Cherish it. Use it wisely.


Mike Marchev Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
Mike will be conducting his 5th annual Travel Sales & Marketing Business Development Cruise, sailing the Freedom of The Seas from Ft. Lauderdale. Email him at mike@mikemarchev.com for complete details. Five cabins are still available.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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