Written By: Scott Koepf MCC, CTC, V.P. of Strategic Development – Cruise Planners
Last month I shared that I believe the number one indicator for success in the travel business, or any other business for that matter, is time management. Extraordinary Marketing skills, Product Knowledge, Sales Ability or great Customer Service will not make up for the inefficient use of time. Time is the ultimate equal opportunity situation as we all get the same amount, however:
Each day is an identical suitcase – Some people just seem to pack more into it!
No one has figured out how to get more hours into a day, so it is up to you to determine how to get more productive hours out of the day! To do that we need to determine the causes of time being wasted then the effects of those causes and then apply the solutions to increase productivity. The following list of possible causes of negative influences on your time may resonate with you:
Distracted by the Attractive (Squirrel!)
You could probably add a few more causes to this list and it may help to list everything that you can think of that diminishes your productivity and efficiency. Make the list as long and as deep as necessary. Include issues with your work environment like pets, family, privacy, equipment, ergonomics and anything else that could be changed or improved to help you. Multitasking was originally hailed as a solution to these causes but that has proven to be another cause in and of itself, as the following indicates:
A United Kingdom study claimed that workers who try to mix handling emails and phone calls while simultaneously working on a project, suffer a fall in IQ more than 2 times that found in smoking Marijuana.
As we know, all causes have an effect and while once again the list can certainly be expanded, the following probably include something we all need help to overcome:
No Calendar/Scheduling System
Disorganized and Overwhelmed
Lack of Discipline
Even if only one of these effects are something you are dealing with, that is enough to keep you from reaching your potential. All of these effects and any others you want to add to the list tend to lead to the last one on the list, stress. While a small amount of stress may be acceptable and maybe even desired, there is no doubt that too much will not only diminish your productivity but negatively affect your quality of life. Stress is an interesting word that may just be a more socially acceptable way of saying what it really is, fear. Think about anything you are stressed about. It will always come down to a fear of something – not meeting a deadline, not providing the quality of work you want to, not having your kids get into the right school, not meeting someone else’s expectations. Fear is not even logical as most people are more afraid of speaking in public than of dying or as some comedian said, most people would rather be in the coffin at a funeral than provide the Eulogy! However, most fear can be overcome because of the following:
False Expectations Appearing Real
Instead of focusing on worst case scenarios and letting those thoughts derail us, we need to integrate solutions that will help us decrease stress/fear.
“I’ve experienced a great deal of pain and suffering in my life …… most of which has never happened.” – Mark Twain
Time Management and the reduction of stress/fear are inextricably linked. When time management solutions are implemented then stress and fear will be reduced so the benefits go far beyond just more productivity but lead to a better quality of life. In the next few months we will dig into each of the five P’s that comprise the solutions for time management. As a teaser to get you excited about the information to come, here they are:
Time Mangement Solutions (The Five P’s)