Plans are nothing; planning is everything. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Over the next few months, I have a great deal of travel booked into my schedule – mostly for work, but also a bit for pleasure. However, just because I’m traveling and away from the office doesn’t mean my workload slows down. The emails keep coming in, the communication with the team and our Board of Directors has to continue, jobs projects require focus and attention. So, I find that when I’m on the road I am actually more disciplined than usual.
Here are a few things that work for me to be more productive during periods of travel:
1. For me, productivity begins on the airplane. I use noise-cancelling headphones, so I get into my own world without much distraction. For any flight over two hours, I always print and bring with me at least 6 inches of reading material. That includes magazines, articles that I’ve been wanting to read and documents to review for the team. Because I have a chance to process everything uninterrupted, I walk off the plane with pages and pages of notes of new ideas or changes that will make us better. For me, it’s therapeutic and incredibly productive.
2. When I reach my destination, I block time very strategically. Whatever business I’m there to do always comes first. I block time specifically for managing emails and returning phone calls. And I always make sure I get a workout in to keep my mind free and my body healthy.
3. If I end up with extra time, I have a backup plan of fun things to do in that city. Too often leaders spend 14 or 15 hours a day working in their hotel rooms and eating bad room service cheeseburgers. When they come back from the trip, they are exhausted and somehow still feel behind. When I travel, I like to bookmark cool things to do in that city if I have extra time like trying unique restaurants, visiting local book stores and viewing public street art. These are things that feed my soul and keep me refreshed during travel.
4. When I return home, I immediately unpack and repack my toiletries so I am ready to go for my next travel adventure. That aids in my productivity because I never have to worry about showing up and realizing I forgot my toothpaste or toothbrush – instead, it was taken care of when I returned home from the last trip!
As leaders, we often end up spending more time on the road than we would prefer; however, I hope some of these travel tips that I’ve used in my life will help you be more successful during your future trips too.
Question: What are your best travel tips for increased productivity on the road?