Trip prep is not a simple or a quick thing, especially when you think about all of the unknown variables surrounding travel.
Add to that the fact that you’re an entrepreneur and are responsible for running your own business and things get… well, let’s just say there’s a lot to consider!
That’s why when John and I started planning for our 60-day Europe trip happening in the Fall of 2018, I set aside specific and dedicated time for our trip prep.
And I’m excited to be sharing my process with you here through a four part series on Trip Prep.
The great news is, there are a set of steps you can follow to help you prep for your trip AND ensure you’re doing everything you can to set yourself up for success – while on the road and at home in your business.
Getting Your Work in Order
In Part I of this four part series we talked about getting your travel in order, and how it all starts with organization.
Getting your work in order is no different: without some type of organization to help you ensure you not only know what needs to get done before you leave – but that you’re actually setting aside the time to get it done – is critical to your success.
I call this part Getting Your Work in Order because it’s just that: you want to make sure sure any and all work you can do ahead of time is completely scheduled out so you don’t end up at the top of the Eiffel Tower worried about whether or not that email went out…
Here are the steps you have to take to make it happen.
3 Steps to Getting Your Work in Order
Step 1: Your work priorities and responsibilities
Start by taking 10 minutes to create a list – this time of your work priorities and responsibilities. A good exercise that will help make sure you’re not missing anything, is Taking Inventory.
You could write this list out on a sheet of paper, or you could use a tool like Asana.
You essentially want to make sure you’re listing out everything you do on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis. And don’t forget to include any 1-time projects you’re currently working on.
Work priorities and responsibilities are things like:
- Writing and scheduling email newsletters;
- Making sure you’re scheduling calls around your travel time;
- Recording and scheduling your podcast episodes;
- Creating and scheduling social media content;
- Updating relevant website content;
- Checking your email / providing customer support;
- Moderating your private Facebook Group;
- Making sure your funnels are running smoothly;
- Letting your paid communities and groups know you’ll be traveling;
- Setting expectations with your team and your audience (will you be available while you’re traveling?);
- Preparing any team members who might be handling tasks for you while you’re gone;
- Rescheduling any meetings you know you won’t be able to make it to;
- …the list goes on.
Step 2: Schedule it out
The most important thing to do once you have a complete list of your work priorities and responsibilities (categorized by how often you do them) is to start scheduling time on your calendar for when you’ll get stuff done.
Sometimes it might feel like your trip is super far away, and that your trip prep is starting way too early, but rest assured, time flies!
Before you know it you’ll be scrambling to get things together for departure, and if you haven’t scheduled specific time on your calendar leading up to that, you’re going to find yourself disappointed that you didn’t get it done.
Be intentional about your schedule and make sure you’re setting aside the proper time to complete your priorities and responsibilities prior to take-off.
Here’s an example of how I’m scheduling time for just two of my work responsibilities:
I publish on the blog (that’s one of my responsibilities) and on my podcast (that’s another responsibility) one time per week, and we leave for our trip in 4 weeks (at the time I’m writing this post).
We’re going to be gone for 2 months, so doing the math, I need to have 2 months worth of content scheduled out over the time we’re away, and that = 8 blog posts and 8 podcast episodes.
That means that over the next 4 weeks, I have to figure out how I’m going to create 8 weeks worth of content and get it all scheduled out.
It sounds like a lot – and it certainly won’t be easy – but it is super simple to set the time aside and just do the work.
All I’ve done is blocked off 4 hours every Monday and 4 hours every Tuesday for the next 4 weeks, giving me 32 hours of focus time to create 8 blog posts and 8 podcast episodes.
So next Monday, I’ll be using those 4 hours to write 2 posts, and then on Tuesday I’ll be using those 4 hours to record 2 episodes based on the blog content I created the day before.
Doing the math, repeating this over 4 weeks will net me 8 weeks worth of content to cover me for the time we’ll be away.
Step 3: Be realistic
When getting your work in order you have to be realistic – without allowing yourself to make excuses.
It would be really easy for me to say “well, I’ll just take a few weeks off while I’m traveling and not publish blogs or send out weekly email newsletters.”
However, I know that would be detrimental to my business, and I’m not willing to risk the trust I’ve built with my audience, or the consistency of our content, simply because I wasn’t able to plan properly.
On the other hand, if I’m killing myself to write and self-publish a book, in addition to everything else I’ve listed out above before I leave, then that might be a bit much.
When being realistic without allowing yourself to make excuses you have to sit at the core of your business and ask yourself: “Will this be detrimental to my business if it doesn’t happen?”
Me not publishing blogs and sending out weekly email newsletters would be detrimental to our business because our blog is what helps us to continue to:
- Be an authority in our space,
- Provide valuable, consistent, and free content to our audience,
- Rank on Google for certain keywords, and
- Keep our flow of website traffic increasing month over month.
And our email newsletter is what keeps us top of mind, allows us to connect with our audience, and continues to provide value to our audience.
Me not publishing my book before we leave? That can wait.
The opportunity to write and self-publish my book when I get back from my trip will still be there, and not doing it before we leave isn’t necessarily risking where our business is at right now.
Plus, am I really going to be able to give the launch of my book a legitimate push and the attention it deserves before we take off? The likely answer is: no.
Wrap up of Trip Prep: Getting Your Work in Order
When getting your work in order it’s important to give yourself the time to really map out what your work priorities and responsibilities are first.
Just like any goal you set for yourself, until you have a clear picture of what it is you’re trying to accomplish, you won’t be able to put a plan in place in order to help you get there.
Once you have that list written out, start scheduling out the time on your calendar to actually do the work. Otherwise, it’s going to be really easy to keep putting it off – or completely forget about it – with everything else you have going on leading up to your departure.
We’re going to diving into how to put a plan in place in order to help you accomplish everything before your departure in our next post, Part III, so stay tuned! More trip prep tips are on the way! :)