By Kammy Thurman
Last Friday I talked about how good work habits can help you stay motivated when you’re working from home. Another part of staying motivated is to have goals for your business, and turn those goals into actions.
But knowing what actions to take is only half the battle. You also need to work them into your schedule to make sure you accomplish them. Here are some suggestions for creating a schedule that will help you achieve your goals sooner rather than later:
- Define your most important goals. While you’re thinking about this, ask yourself where you’d like your travel agency to be five years from now. What would you like your life to look like? Be specific. Once you’ve written down all of your goals, take the two or three that are most important to you and break them down into one-year objectives. Then break those objectives down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks. And finally, schedule those tasks on your calendar just like you’d schedule a client meeting.
Your primary focus should be on achieving your lifetime goals. Plan time for them every day, every week, every month, and every year.
- Use your caller ID. If a call is not important ignore it. Return the call during an allotted time that you’ve blocked out each day to answer phone messages. If you must leave a voicemail, leave a detailed message suggesting e-mail follow up to avoid playing phone tag.
- Strictly limit social media! It’s an important tool for the travel industry, but it’s also a double-edged sword, easily consuming time that business owners cannot afford. Again, use a timer if necessary. You should be able to accomplish what you need in no more than 30 minutes per day.
Schedule two times during the day to check e-mail and then restrict it to 15-minute sessions. Make your responses quick and succinct. And if you must, use a timer to keep yourself from getting too involved in your email.
- Be in control of your client meetings. Schedule five or six meetings in a row on the same day instead of over several days.
- Reduce unnecessary commute time by changing doctors, dentists, and any other service providers to people within five minutes drive of your office or home. The time you’ll save will be worth making the switch. Schedule errands one day per week during a specific block of time.
Remember to “Do what’s important for your goals, not what’s urgent — work for yourself not for your in-basket.”
At first this may sound like a lot of work, but you can create your plan over several days. Once you have your goals broken down into weekly steps, it should take only about 15 minutes each morning to schedule your daily tasks, and keep your plan on track.
Kammy Thurman is a certified travel consultant with over 10 years experience as the highest-selling consultant in Montana’s leading agency. She also has 17 years as a Web marketing copywriter/consultant who has helped companies of all sizes — from home-based agencies to international travel publishers — sell over $200 million in products and services, online and offline. Download her new checklist, “The Five Top Strategies to Boost Leads and Sales with Retargeting (No Matter Where Your Prospects are in the Buying Cycle).