You probably remember why you went into the travel business in the first place — your love of travel and your commitment to helping others.

But it’s a travel business, which means there are many operational elements that might not be quite so thrilling: business owner, manager, subordinate, peer, adviser, accountant, marketer, writer, webmaster, and IT guru, to name just a few.

If you employ others, your staff is looking to you to set the tone for continual improvement, but how can you motivate your staff if you yourself are feeling burned out and sluggish? How do you motivate yourself to tackle the necessary, but not-so-fun aspects of your travel business?

A sense of accomplishment is encouraging and motivating because it shows you're making progress towards your goals. Conversely, stagnation is de-motivating because it leads to a "why bother" attitude. And once apathy sets in, it gets harder to shake the doldrums and energize yourself.

Here are some suggestions on fostering a sense of accomplishment to keep you energized and motivated:

  1. Set your workday's agenda so you don’t get distracted by others' demands. Responding to everyone else’s whims, instead of what you deem important, is demoralizing because it symbolizes loss of control in executing a vision.

  2. Determine your next day's agenda at the end of your previous workday, not at the start of the day when you could already be interrupted by emails and phone calls. That way you can start your day fresh, on-target and focused. If a phone call or email interrupts you, you can immediately get back on track; you won't to wonder where you'd left off.

  3. Prioritize your agenda according to what you deem most important. This can be your most time-sensitive, critical or long-term issue. I personally start with the time-sensitive issues, for example, a client phone call scheduled for early morning, or air that needs to be ticketed by a certain time.

    Then I work on the critical tasks that must be accomplished that day, whether it’s ordering printer paper and ink or designing a client itinerary to be presented the next day. I save boring and repetitive tasks, like data entry, for those times during the day when I’m feeling less mentally sharp or energized.

  4. Do the most intellectually challenging tasks when you’re most energized and save the boring, mundane tasks for when your brain doesn’t feel quite in gear. You're still making progress but not taxing your brain in frustration or making serious errors.

  5. Break up long-term projects into bite-size chunks that you can do in one day. Writing "redesign website" on your day's to-do list only sets you up for failure. Even if you can only make one phone call for your long-term project, it’s still another step towards achieving your goal.

  6. Check off each item on your workday’s agenda, so by the end of the day you can visibly see your day's accomplishments. You won’t be wondering, "where did the day go?" with nothing to show for it.

    There's nothing like seeing a series of checkmarks next to "to-do" tasks to make you feel satisfied. Any agenda item that could not be completed (e.g., you’re waiting for a return phone call with an answer to something) gets added to the top of the next day's agenda for follow-up.

  7. Reward yourself on your day’s achievements before shutting down for the day. For me, enjoying a cup of tea as I read travel news and reports of exotic destinations, new hotels, new product offerings, excites my imagination and re-energizes me, reminding me of why I love travel and the travel business.