Writing in from the Dolomites:
With my adventure travel business growing quickly right now I don't have the time or the luxury to put things off. So far this year I have had led around eight one-week walking tours to three countries and have been on trips to Italy (five times), South Africa, Canada, Dubai (twice), Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia, the Republic of Georgia, and to California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, New York, and Hawaii in the U.S. - and before the end of the year I will be leading six more tours to the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy, tours to Croatia, Slovenia and leading a three week trek of 24 people to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, then to Austria, Slovakia, back to the U.S. where I will travel to California, Washington, Colorado and Minnesota then to three states in Australia and then to lead another tour in New Zealand. I joke about not having time for jet-lag, let alone putting off staying ahead of the game and all the organization and logistics required to take 100+ guests a year on 16 different trips to five different countries. (Let alone to keep up with my own personal travel schedule.)
I am not writing all that to brag - far from it. I share this with you just to put things in perspective for the purpose of this blog post, and I know many people have schedules that would put mine to shame.
We all are busy, and I do put things off for sure, but I spend whatever time I have each day working on the things I need to get done. I will admit I have been putting off editing my new website and getting it on-line but it is far easier to answer emails (and write blogs) than edit a website when every word counts and how it looks and reads can determine my success or failure over the next year. I need to be in the right mindset for that - but I do need to focus and get to work on that!
I run my own business, and I don't separate work or play. It is just what I do and who I am. I work every day as much as I have time for - early mornings, late at night, whenever I have a chance to answer emails or book hotels or my next flight. In the travel business I have to have my tours planned and scheduled over a year out, so I am always looking at my calendar and making sure I have everything in place. I often have back to back trips to three different countries with different groups and need to have my act together so I do not turn up to a hotel on the wrong day, or head to the wrong location or country and forget to pick up some people - it has never happened fortunately.
Time Management Behaviors that have Led to Success
1. If you want something to happen, YOU must make it happen. I remember 20 years ago teaching ice climbing in New Hampshire all day in the freezing cold, then heading to the gym for a hard workout - to stay in top shape for other mountaineering goals I had - then going home and working on a typewriter late into the night pumping out a new brochure for my next overseas trip I was trying to promote. If you have a dream you have to work on it little by little and step by step every day to make it happen; it will not happen on it's own. Other mountain guides could have done the same thing, but many chose not too - because they were "too tired" probably...boo hoo.
2. Spend More Time Planning & Less Time Watching TV or on the Internet. I spend time thinking...looking at my calendar and planning things out, thinking about tours and trips I have ahead of me and also putting TO DO notes in my calendar for when I need to get things done. Watching TV or surfing on the internet will probably not get you closer to achieve your dreams. With smart phones and technology today is SO much easier today to get things done and make notes of things you have to do in your calendar.
3. Get Away and Be Quiet. I often think when I walk. It is my time to clear my head, almost a silent meditation. I often go and have a cup of coffee by myself and spend time thinking, taking notes and thinking abut what I need to accomplish next to achieve my goals and dreams. I often suggest to people that they walk in silence on the trail, and to let the mountains speak to them...but sadly, they rarely do, being more happy to talk about their last trip, or their next trip, rather than BEING HERE NOW!!!
On a guided walking trip with 8 people for example, I have many things to think about and do each day and while I am on the trail. I am thinking we need to get lunch here and be gone by this time so we can walk there and catch the last cable car by this time to get to this place by then so we can get back to the hotel and have time to shower and change before meeting the hotel owner at this time for drinks...etc, etc. It is thinking about these things ahead of time that makes the difference between an OK trip and a fantastic-blow-your-mind-trip for my guests.
4. Wake up Early. One other principle I have taught to younger apprentice guides is very simple, but very effective - GET UP EARLIER!!! Can't sleep the day away!
Ciao for now, gotta stop procrastinating and get to work on that website,
You, too, can travel with Gary - check out Right Path Adventures today!