With conference and workshop season fast upon us, I wanted to share some steps for getting the most from them and reading this BEFORE you go will put you in the right mindset for when you get home.
Once you return home from a conference or workshop, it's easy to forget all the things you learned and promised yourself you'd implement.
After all, you're back in your regular environment: your family needs attention after you've been gone, work tasks have piled up, personal items need handling. How are you to "catch up" and incorporate all the new things as well?
Here's my simple process for ensuring I implement and put new ideas into action as soon as I return from a conference or workshop:
1. Create an Action List.
While at the workshop, I make an action list of all the ideas I want to implement in my business – some are new and some are refining things I'm already doing.
The important thing to note here is that I do NOT censor this list – everything I think of goes on it.
2. Take a day.
If possible, take a day or 1/2 day when you get home to unpack, get back in the swing of things and take a good look at your Action List (mine usually runs 2-3 pages).
Review the items and decide which make sense for your business right now, in the next six months and in the next year.
Once you've separated the items into different lists, take out the "right now" sheet:
Are there items which can be done in 10 minutes or less? If so, identify those items and schedule an hour for each group of 5 activities over the next week (this allows a little extra time). This will insure you make steady progress soon after the seminar.
Do you have bigger projects? No sweat, break them down into smaller chunks — 30 minutes at most — and schedule them on your calendar.
By scheduling these activities *on your calendar*, you'll have a start and end time for getting them done and ensuring you got the most out of your time at the workshop.
File the other two lists in your tickler file for future action.
Chances are you've met new friends and potential clients.
Now's the time to drop them a brief note and let them know you're happy to have met them and follow-up with any information you may have promised.
And, remember, if appropriate for you, thank the speaker for the seminar and all you learned.
Make It Real: My Request To You
Think back to the last conference or workshop you attended. Did you create an Action List of things to implement in your business?
If not, schedule some time on your calendar to sit down with the workshop binder, go through your notes and create an Action List of everything you want to implement.
Then follow the steps I outline above for getting them done! I set the intention to get at least one thing (new idea, better way of doing something, etc.) from every conference or workshop I attend – after all, the cost of attendance is high: money, travel, hotel, and, most importantly, my time and energy!
And remember, before you leave, pack a "conference bag" so you have a few munchies, a bottle of water, extra pens, etc. 🙂