This spring, Key Notes On Travel examined time management with productivity expert Neen James. During her first webinar, a travel advisor asked how she might address the challenge of balancing inbound demands (email, telephone, web inquiries) with walk-in clients. Here's Neen's sage advice for anyone who works front-line customer service.
"How can someone who works at the front line as a travel consultant apply your [productivity] strategies when constantly fielding walk-in clients, urgent emails and emergency client calls?"
- Patricia, Key Notes On Travel subscriber
1. Account for your "interruption factor"
According to Neen, the number one tip for remaining productive while dealing with multiple intrusions is to understand what she calls the "interruption factor."
Neen explains: "If you’re a person who sits at their desk all day answering email and there’s no one walking in and out of your office, your interruption factor would be really low. But what if - like Patricia - you’re in the position where your interruption factor is 100 per cent? [You need to acknowledge] that a five-minute task is going to take 100 per cent longer. It is, in fact, going to ten minutes."
Accounting for the interruption factor means busy advisors more accurately budget time to their to-do list items, which sets more realistic expectations of what they can get done in a day.
"You may have an incredible vision of all the ideas you’re going to execute. However, you have 10 hours of things to do but a realistic 90 minutes to get them done," Neen points out. "Be easy on yourself because as a travel advisor, your role is to be on call...make the most of the moments between walk-in clients, urgent emails and those emergency calls."
2. Make a game of it
Who says work can't be fun and games?
"If you’re trying to get something done, find your best time of day to do it – whether it’s morning or afternoon - set your timer on your phone and give yourself an allocated time to get it done," Neen suggests. When you're on the clock, you might be more likely to stay on task.
3. Bite-size tasking
It's a real drag when you're tackling a complex or lengthy activity and your attention is constantly pulled elsewhere. In these cases, Neen suggests breaking your to-do list item into smaller tasks. "Wherever you can, break things into smaller action items because [it's possible] you won’t get everything done at once. But if you can even start making some progress maybe you will feel better," she explains.
Catch Neen's third time management webinar
SESSION III: An interactive Q&A with Neen
April 16, 2019
Duration: 60 minutes
A post-keynote opportunity to take a deeper dive and ask Need about some of the strategies she shared in sessions one and two.
Did you miss Neen James' first two sessions?
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