Time management should be defined as this- a crucial and quite obvious skill to success that many people just do not see as that obvious. In fact, many people struggle to efficiently manage their time throughout their entire lives. And because people are the most valuable asset for travel agencies, agencies often find themselves in a time struggle of their own, stalling their own progress and simply not reaching their full potential. Thus, if you are a travel professional, learning to manage your time as well as teaching how to manage it to your coworkers is critical, whether you are a travel agency owner, an in-office agent, or an independent travel agent.
Now, how can you effectively manage time? Break it down for a five-year-old
More often than not, people avoid work because they are overwhelmed by the amount of it. Let us imagine that a loyal client has assigned you to research a trip to an exciting new destination for the client’s entire extended family of twenty people and prepare a detailed report on it. Well, that would definitely seem like a lot to do at once for most people, and so most people would lay off doing it until the night-before-the-due-date pressure would finally hit. But working under immense pressure is not always very fun. So how should you avoid avoiding this report and start on it today? Easy- just break it down. Separate the project into smaller pieces- the executive summary, the research, the budget outline for each option, etc.. Consider starting one of these sections, but if it still seems like too much of a time commitment, break it down even more. For example, think about completing just a small fragment of the research- go online and conduct one search for the hottest places to travel to in the upcoming year. At this point, the task should sound ridiculous to you. After all, even a five-year-old could do it. As soon as you are done with it (which should take about one minute) continue on to the next ridiculous-to-not-do-right-now task, and soon you will be done.
Set up deadlines
Whether you work from home or in an office, make sure that your procedures run on schedule. And to ensure that, you must have a schedule to start off with. Assign deadlines to both small and large projects. If you work as an independent travel agent, buy a planner or calendar and write down deadlines on appropriate dates. If you work in an office, create a shared Google calendar or even a Google sheet with dates and assignments. This will hold those in charge of completing the assignments on track and up to date.
Make sure to assign specific responsibilities to specific people in the office.(This one applies more if you are an in-office agent or part of a travel agency.) Do not just announce a project and expect those around you to take responsibility for it. Break down the roles and stick them to names- “Bob will be in charge of booking all ticket sales, Miranda will be doing cruises, and George is in charge of administrative duties.” This will hold Bob, Miranda, and George accountable for their own specific tasks, and if a task is not completed, one of them will be accountable for it.
Write it down
Create a formal way of addressing yourself and/or the travel agents with whom you work. And, in this case, formal is written. If you are an independent travel agent, write down specific details of your assignments in your planner or write an email to your host travel agency that specifies a project that you plan on partaking in. If you are an in-office agent you may want to do the same for yourself, and communicate others’ roles and deadlines on either a shared Google Calendar or company email. This will prevent the use of a very famous line- “I didn’t hear you (or myself) say that.” After all, it has been written in stone (or computer memory).