Working from home is challenging enough. You have to ignore those dishes in the sink and dust bunnies in the corner, sit down, not click on that amazing J.Crew sale email and get to work. But clutter can make your workspace even more distracting. Here are a few tips for spring cleaning your workspace for maximum productivity:
Paper is the number one clutter culprit. As an independent travel agent, you undoubtedly still work with a lot of paper--clients’ itineraries, brochures for the most amazing resorts in Mexico and Caribbean, an informational packet about that new European bike trip--but it’s time to organize it all. Take stock of what you have the most and create a filing system. If you’re like us and you hate filing cabinets and endless folders, try a compact document scanner like this one from Brother available on Amazon.
Maybe you love to make a traditional to-do list each day (who doesn’t love to check off those items?), but you also need a calendar for long-term projects, planning marketing initiatives, following up with clients and more. How do you do this? You can sign up for a small business-friendly Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool like Insightly or Base. You can implement an inexpensive email marketing campaign with MailChimp. And then you can start putting everything on a Google Calendar, which can integrate to all your mobile devices as well and keep you on track for achieving the most possible!
Why do people love to travel? Who are you helping? Your workspace should explore these things so that you feel empowered to do more for your career and for your business. Maybe you love framed art from places you’ve been (or want to visit!) or inspirational quotes. Either way, surrounding yourself with some beauty will ultimately help motivate you every day.
The best way to stay organized is to keep your eye on the prize. Set a few goals that you can complete by the end of summer and put them in a prominent spot in your workspace. Look at them every day and take small steps to achieve them. Incentives help, too! Try assigning a reward to achieving each goal. For example, if you book 10 cruises by August 30th, you’ll book a trip for the holidays for yourself.
How did you desk get so cluttered in the first place? Do you tend to jot down notes on loose sheets of paper while on the phone with a client and then throw it in a drawer? Buy yourself a notebook! Do you come home from a meeting and discard all of your business cards into a drawer? Get a card holder and a catch-all. Notice your tendency to collect clutter and assign an organization process instead. It will take a few weeks to get into your new habit, but your desk (& your workflow) will thank you for it!
What are your best tips for organizing and maximizing productivity as a work from home travel agent?