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21

Attending Conferences Takes Special Time Management

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With AAHAM’s 2016 Annual National Institute’s (ANI) soon approaching in Las Vegas; I hear people sometimes say they love going to conferences and especially the ANI, but they seem to always be in a bind at work both before and after a conference. Going on a vacation or attending a conference seems to be a double edged sword because of the mounds of work you have to do both before you leave and when you return.

Over the years I’ve learned a few tips that I’d like to share with you.

  • Get a jump on projects due when you return; perhaps there is something you can complete or get a start on it before you leave in advance of its due date. This way you aren’t looking at completing the entire project when you return.
  • Some people recommend putting a basket on their chair so that people who leave notes, reports, etc. in your absence can place these things in this special basket rather than your inbox or all over your desk and desk chair. This centralizes all of the things that you’ll need to deal with when you return. It’s pretty overwhelming to return to sticky notes and reports all over your desk.
  • Delegate smaller responsibilities to a coworker in your absence. Be sure to reward them before you go with a small gift card or even a candy bar. Bring them conference souvenirs to show your appreciation and remember to return the favor and help them out when they go on vacation or to a conference.
  • Ask a coworker to monitor the work that is left for you and put requests in special folders. This can help you prioritize your work.
  • Asking someone to sort your mail is helpful too; a stack of magazines and periodicals can be separated from mail needing attention. You can deal with the magazines when you are caught up.  
  • Can someone also be delegated to handle your incoming telephone calls and messages?
  • Designate time to check emails if your job requires this while you are on the road. It may be your habit and these can wait too. It’s important that conference time is devoted to attending the conference. People who need to return to their hotel rooms for conference calls and handling emails may miss valuable sessions and networking time at the conference which was why they were attending in the first place.

I look forward to seeing you at the ANI and I hope these few tips help you, see you in Las Vegas!

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