Traveling for business can be exhausting. Living out of a suitcase means you have very little time to do domestic chores or to spend time with family. However, such trips are often part and parcel of running a business. According to one study, there were close to 458 million business trips in the United States alone last year.
If you are part of this travel group, this article will help you with some tips to make yourself a lot more productive during the trip.
Create to-dos with timelines
To-do lists are nothing new and keeping yourself organized with checklists is a great way to stay productive. What many business travelers, however, fail to do is preparing timelines for the various tasks in their list. Without deadlines, it is quite likely for a businessman to have critical tasks waiting to be completed towards the end of their trip. You may avoid such situations by prioritizing the various tasks in your checklist and by ensuring that these activities are completed well before they are due.
Open calendars and warm-up phone calls
Business travelers often try to pack in as many meetings as possible during their short visits. But clients and partners are not likely to realize this. This often leads to situations where you fail to complete all your meetings as planned and this is quite a drain on productivity.
One of the best ways to complete all your scheduled meetings on time is by keeping your calendars open and letting the other party know of your other appointments for the day. If possible, it is a good idea to host all your meetings at one place so that you may avoid all the time wasted traveling from one client office to another.
One other trick that helps you crank up productivity is by scheduling a ‘warm up’ phone call with your clients and partners just before the scheduled meeting time. This helps you cut down on the time spent on niceties and thus helps you wrap your meetings on schedule.
Professionals and apps to the rescue
If you are a frequent traveler who comes home only for the weekends, then it can be quite frustrating to take care of the domestic chores in the little time you are there. One way to make more time for yourself is by outsourcing your chores.
Hire a professional if you do not want to spend the weekend cleaning your house or mowing your lawns. Apps like Instacart can save you a trip to the grocery store while services like Park ‘N Fly can let you get your car washed and cleaned while it is parked at the airport parking lot. The general rule is this - identify all the errands that can take up your time on weekends and find professionals or third party services that can get it done for you. Yes, this may not come cheap, but the time you save this way and the productivity gains made are worth much more than the money spent.
Commit to your health
While traveling for business can be exhausting by itself, it is not by all means the only reason why your productivity levels drop. Waiting in airport lounges, flying and commuting can leave very little time for you to hit the gym and stay fit. But as you would know, you don’t need a gym to stay fit. There are multiple 10-minute and 20-minute work routines that business travelers can indulge in from inside their hotel rooms.
Committing yourself to a fitness routine and eating healthy ensures that your productivity levels remain high.
Airport lounges are an investment
If you are a bootstrapped business traveler, airport lounges may seem like a frivolous expense you must avoid. If you are a frequent traveler, however, lounges provide you with the ideal setting to get some real work done or even to recharge your batteries with a quick nap. You do not always have to pay for airport lounges, though. Many banks have tie-ups with airports to provide lounge access to their corporate card holders and this is a great way to increase productivity during your trips.
Business traveling may seem like fun to someone just starting out. However, it can be quite exhausting to the seasoned professional. By identifying the right productivity boosters, business travelers can make better use of the limited time on their hands and can thus get more things done in less time.
Photo credit: Peshkova/Shutterstock