Prioritizing: Bangkok, yes or no?

Changed Priorities Ahead sign
via Flickr/R/DV/RS

I’ll be honest here: one of the things I have most difficulties with in working independently is time management: what can I best spend my time on?

This is the case on little things: write a blog post or work on my administration. Will it help me more to finalize my terms and conditions first than to set up meetings with different organizations and people to explore possible cooperations. Of course, in the end I believe I need to do all of those things – but some might be more effective in kick-starting other connections and things that will help me in setting up my business as best I can. So the need to decide on what should come first and how much time I should spend on that is never far away.

And this week I’m agonizing about another issue. It’s both a dilemma as far as time is concerned, but also in part a financial dilemma.

After my successful week in Tokyo in May I have slowly started to look at when would be a good time to do a similar trip to China. It’s been over a year since I was there last and it’s time to visit again to further build on my professional network and increase my understanding of local developments on CSR & sustainability. I’m really looking forward to going: I expect it will be a very useful, interesting and exciting trip. Of course, there’s also the choice of which places in China to visit – but that’s not what’s on my mind most.

Because around the time when I’m planning to be in China, CSR Asia is hosting its annual CSR Asia Summit in Bangkok. I would love to go. The programme contains some very interesting sessions, and it would be a great way to connect with people that I wouldn’t meet with otherwise. That is, assuming that the conference will have plenty of time to network and talk to people – as last week’s Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct didn’t leave much time for that.

However, including this conference in my trip (while I’m in China, I may as well pop over to Thailand on the way back) would cut into the amount of time I am able to spend in China itself. That means, even if I’ll be back there later on, I would not have the opportunity to learn as much there as I might want to. Of course, the conference itself may be a very worthwhile substitute for a few days in China. Especially as it may also give me the opportunity to meet with a few people working on CSR & sustainability in Thailand, which is still unknown territory to me.

Which would benefit me more in the long term, the conference in Bangkok or an additional few days in China? I don’t know – and it’s probably impossible to really predict. But still. Any thoughts to help me make up my mind are very welcome!

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