Why is post-conference time blocking such an important topic? Two weeks ago, I was at our national conference in Brisbane, and after the conference, quite a large number of podiatrists posted how good the event was on social media, but it got me thinking; I wonder how many have taken action on what they’ve learnt since returning home. How many have set time aside to review their notes and put together a game plan or plan of action?
Taking action after a conference, workshop, or seminar is more complicated than you’d like to think.
You get home over the weekend, usually on a Sunday, and the next day you’ll head into work full of enthusiasm, only to realise you have patients booked solid for most of the day.
Don’t worry; you still have your lunch break to review your notes and start making plans.
But just before lunch, you receive an email from your Accountant, and they need you to call them urgently. By the time you phone them and finish eating your lunch, lunchtime is over.
Once again, you’re not too concerned because you have nothing scheduled after work, so you can read through your notes at the end of the day when it’s quiet, and there won’t be any interruptions.
However, by the time 5.30 pm comes around, you’re mentally tired, so you tell yourself, it’s been a long day; a night off will be good for me and give me a chance to recharge my battery; however, this pattern repeats itself on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and before you know it the week is over, and it’s the weekend.
You decided to take the weekend off, because you’ve been busy all week and didn’t relax last week because of the conference, and you deserve the break. In addition to that, if you have a family, you cannot neglect them two weekends in a row.
One week leads to two weeks; before you know it, the month has passed, and you have not taken action or implemented one new idea from the conference.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I must admit I repeated this process over and over again for years, and it frustrated the hell out of me because I knew I had the best intentions.
I would get so annoyed with myself, but then I discovered the solution, Post-Conference Time Blocking.
If you’ve never used time blocking before, you should, and if you’re not sure what time blocking is, it’s the easiest way to get things done.
Time blocking is about dedicating specific blocks of time to particular tasks, and your goal is to perform and complete those tasks within the given time frame. If it’s not finished, you immediately go to your calendar and block out more time on another day.
Time Blocking is far better and more productive than having a daily to-do list with no specific time frames.
What’s the Difference with Post-Conference Time Blocking?
It’s just like standard time blocking; you block out a specific amount of time to perform particular tasks, in this case, review your conference notes and create a game plan; however, post-conference time blocking is scheduled into your calendar before leaving for the conference, not afterwards.
If you try to do it after the conference, it just won’t happen. Things will come up, and life will get in the way.
Therefore the earlier you can block out this time in your calendar, the better, and the longer the conference or workshop, the more time you should allow.
For example, if I attend a solid three-day event, I will allow one full day to review my notes and create a game plan or plan of action. You may think you cannot afford to take off another full day but believe me; it will pay dividends long-term.
If I attend a one-day event, I may block out three to four hours; if it is a 2-hour evening seminar, I may only block out an hour the next day.
Here’s a great tip to consider:
Make post-conference time blocking part of your conference booking procedure:
- Pay for Conference Tickets.
- Schedule a Post-Conference Time Block in your calendar.
- Book Accommodation.
- Book Airfares.
If you make it part of your conference booking procedure, it will never be overlooked, and if you have an assistant who makes your travel arrangements, tell them they must block out post-conference time in your calendar. There should be no exceptions.
Why Not Stay An Extra Day – This is what I do.
Another idea you may find helpful, and this is what I do; you can stay an extra day at your accommodation and use this day to review all your notes and create all your plans of action.
Of course, I don’t sit in the room the whole day. I will leave the room for breakfast, lunch and dinner and depending on the weather, I may fit in a swim, but I try to keep my breaks short.
If you have the time to do this, you should, but if money is a little tight, head home but make sure you’ve pre-planned your post-conference time blocks before you leave.
Just Do One Thing
Another critical point is not to try to implement everything you learnt at a conference all at once, no matter how good the information is. Instead, review your notes, pick the top three ideas or takeaways you want to work on and rank them one, two and three.
Then, start creating your game plan or plan of action around number one. If you try to implement everything simultaneously, you will get overwhelmed and achieve nothing.
When you’re at work, stay focused on the number one activity, and as soon as it’s completed, move on to the next most important item.
After completing the top three ideas or takeaways, you can review your list and find more tasks.
It’s also a good idea to meet with your team as soon as possible so you can share your top three takeaways and what you’ve decided to work on first because you’re going to want their involvement.
Attending conferences and workshops is an absolute must for your career and your business, but you must take action on what you’ve learnt; otherwise, you’ll end up with folders full of notes that will sit there and go to waste.
In July, Jonathan Small and I will run a two-day Work Smarter, Not Harder workshop in Brisbane on the 21st and 22nd. Throughout the two days, everyone attending will leave with a list of business takeaways that will change their financial future, but before everyone leaves, we will make sure they leave with that ONE big idea they will be working on first.
If you want to recession-proof your podiatry business, consider attending the Work Smarter, Not Harder event I am doing with Jonathan Small on the 21st and 22nd of July. For booking details, please visit https://www.tysonfranklin.com/events
If you have any questions about this episode, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you’d like to learn more about One-On-One Business Coaching, please email me at email@example.com; otherwise, you can go directly to my online calendar schedule a face-to-face Zoom meeting with me.