Packing your work-related as well as personal items, trying to squeeze your hand baggage into a crowded overhead space, navigating your way from the airport to meetings, managing clients, in between stopping to eat whatever you can possibly stuff quickly into your mouth – business travel can be exhaustive and stressful.
67% of frequent business travellers across the globe reportedly feel they work twice as much on the road as they do in the office. With a number as high as that, it’s important to not let business travel become a necessary evil in your life. Whether you travel a few times a week or few times a year, remember these top 5 tips to make your business trips a breeze and enjoy while you work on-the-go.
#1 Planning is sacrosanct: Business travel is all about accomplishing goals in a limited time span. Hence, planning your trip itinerary well ahead, making sure you have a backup provision for every possible situation – flight delays, local transport, missing luggage, etc. can ensure stress-free travel. Famous time management guru, Brian Tracy says, “Every minute spent in planning, saves 10 minutes in execution.” Whether you are one of those who plan the evening before the trip or months in advance – make sure you allot dedicated ‘planning time’ in your calendar.
#2 Get organized: You don’t want to be wasting precious time searching for that hotel booking email, ID proofs, or other travel related information. Leverage these awesome sanity-saving business travel apps available today such as TripIt, iTransalte, GateGuru, Uber, etc. to organize all your travel related stuff in one place. No more printing flight tickets, airline contact information, or accommodation details. View and track all your travel details with just a tap on your smartphone.
#3 Downtime can be productive too: Downtime is imperative in travel – be it airport lounges, in the flight, in your client’s office or hotel room, but it doesn’t have to be a no-work time. While earphones and laptop is all you need to turn your in-flight time into work time, the duration spent waiting for meetings or in airport lounges could be the best time to answer emails on your phone. Efficient time management is all about planning for downtime, blocking out distractions, and getting more done in less time.
#4 Hire a virtual assistant and delegate what you can: Don’t be a work hoarder – delegate your non-core tasks like checking email, planning and scheduling meetings, report making, etc. to a virtual assistant. Train and empower your assistant beforehand to handle queries in your absence and refrain from micromanagement. Delegation is a superb time management strategy that not only boosts your productivity but also helps you get more work done in less time – keeping you stress-free all the while.
#5 Fitness on-the-go: Business travel does not mean freedom from exercise. Rather, you need to pay extra attention to your eating, drinking, sleeping, exercising routine as staying fit is akin to staying productive. Eat light when travelling, hit the gym if your hotel has one, or devise a free-hand exercise schedule for yourself. Better still – hit the outdoors. You will get to see a new place and your mind will welcome the refreshing change. Don’t hesitate from staying back a day or two if you really like a place. Remember, travelling is all about fun experiences and business travel should be no different.
Business travel – the evolution from a ‘necessary evil’ to a ‘productivity fuelled exercise’
A few decades ago, business travel meant frustrating times, stress, and exhaustion. Not anymore. Thanks to smartphones, smart travel apps, plastic money, and anytime-anywhere access to data. Logical time management is the key to making business travel a breeze. It’s time to quit saying ‘Sorry I am unable to respond as I am travelling’!