Whether you are a business owner or employee, you are likely not a stranger to business travel. Business trips can be highly productive and exciting, but it is easy to let these expectations slip, as various factors take away your control.
“You know the feeling — the tingling excitement of an upcoming business trip,” Zeunep Ilgaz writes in Forbes. “You may daydream about how productive you’ll be during all that uninterrupted time, niïvely believing that you’ll get double the work done in half the time. Unfortunately for most people, all that “free time” is merely a pipe dream. In reality, travel is exhausting.”
If you dread your business trips because you know they will put you behind, there are ways to regain control. While you are likely to develop your own productivity strategies, these are some simple ideas to get you started.
Pack lightly and early
You might be surprised by how much time you waste riffling through your luggage for specific clothing and items. To streamline this process and make your mornings run much smoother, pack strategically. Plan an outfit for each day and stick to it. This way, you can use your decision making power in other areas.
Get prep work done on the plane
A 2009 study found that business travelers were 20% more productive on a company aircraft than in the office. But you can make any type of plane your workspace if you pack for your business trip accordingly. Bring some noise-canceling headphones, pack a useful carry-on, and get to work. To help this, you might consider prioritizing airlines with reliable WiFi.
Stay present during meetings and networking events
During these gatherings you might let your mind wander, thinking about the next meeting or what you’re eating for dinner. Boost your productivity by staying focused.
You could miss out on valuble information and connections if you fail to pay attention, making your entire trip less productive overall.
Keep a meticulous calendar
Update your calendar with your itinerary before you depart and update it during your trip. Even if something changes last minute or doesn’t happen as planned, make the adjustment. You will feel much more on top of your tasks and meetings if your calendar is completely accurate.
Get enough sleep
The unfamiliarity of the city and disruption in your routine can make it difficult to catch some Z’s on your business trip. Unfortunately, this can make you groggy and less present in meetings. Seven to nine hours asleep is generally recommended, and this applies to business trips as well.
While there are many ways to boost your business trip, it may take some trial and error to learn what works for you. While you are working on your productivity, be patient with yourself and stay flexible. You can only control so much when it comes to business travel. So, plan what you can and make the most of the rest.
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