When your job requires a lot of travel, it can really eat into your work time. Here are five tips for making the most of travel time.
For those who rarely travel for work, an international business trip or extended weekend stay in a swanky hotel can certainly seem glamorous. However, those familiar with a demanding travel schedule will warn that fatigue and jetlag often set in right in time to throw any opportunities for productivity off course. From there, it's an endless struggle to catch up on missed communications, finalize details and keep your work headed in the right direction.
Fortunately, with the advancements in technology, staying productive isn't as difficult as it once was. With our top five tips, you'll be on your way to a fruitful business trip like you've never experienced before.
1. Plug in and work.
Unlike in the past, when finding an outlet to plug into was difficult, airports today have power outlets – and even USB ports – up and down every aisle of chairs. There are even actual charging stations, perfectly set up to help make your downtime in the airport that much more functional. Now, with the choice between getting work done or running your battery down eliminated, people are finding their waiting time to be extremely beneficial when planned and prepared.
Plus, did I mention free Wi-Fi?
2. Buy a hot spot.
That being said, don't put all your eggs into one basket of unpredictable technology if there's work that must get done. With thousands of travelers clamoring for Wi-Fi at the same time, your actual speed of internet may leave a lot to be desired. I recommend always having a hot spot credit on hand to access internet anywhere in the world, at any time.
3. Utilize virtual meetings.
A noon meeting may sound feasible at first when your flight isn't until 3, but then you remember that getting to the airport early, plus travel time, gives you little to no time to actually hold a successful meeting. Scheduling conflicts happen. Instead of trying to be in two different places at once, utilize applications and programs such as Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom to efficiently hold virtual meetings while sitting in the airport waiting for your departure.
4. Use cloud-based files.
There's nothing worse than sitting down to finally get some work done and realizing that the file you need is sitting on a desk in your office or on a backup drive at home. With cloud-based filing systems, you can access your files from anywhere in the world, reducing the fear of forgetfulness and ensuring you'll always be prepared when an opportunity to be productive presents itself.
5. Embrace downtime.
While all of the above tips can help you to streamline your productivity while traveling, it's important to remember that exhaustion is a real side effect of perpetual travel, and listening to your body should be your guiding compass. When you're simply too tired to concentrate, or your energy could benefit from a quick revitalization, close your laptop, put down your phone, and simply embrace the time you have to do nothing. Perhaps you could grab a healthy meal to stimulate your senses or set your alarm to briefly meditate or nap. No matter what, the rare moments of downtime you have while traveling can sometimes be better spent doing absolutely nothing than trying to do everything.