The travel season is once again upon us, and that means that many of you are about to hit the road. Being a road warrior means that you are constantly creating meaningful relationships that lead to a huge impact for your company’s bottom line, and oftentimes these business trips are among the most productive parts of the job. But can you do all that traveling while keeping up with daily tasks, such as emails and expense reports? Sometimes it seems impossible, yet day-to-day operational tasks can’t be left undone. We’re here to help, so we’ve developed a list of our top seven things you can do while you’re on the road to stay productive.
1. Spend time planning ahead. We know you’re slammed, but taking just 30 minutes to plan out your trip will make a world’s difference. Understand the purpose of your trip, who you want to meet and what prep work you may need to complete ahead of time to be as ready as possible. Labeling the end-goal of your trip will make Step 2 much easier:
2. Prioritize your events and meetings. Emphasize the events and meetings that you feel will be most beneficial to you and your company and prioritize all other functions around that event. If you’re at a trade show or conference, consider where your target market and prospective leads may be. If you’re traveling for meetings, prioritize the people or departments who will be most important to be with face-to-face.
3. Cue up in-transit work. Whenever you’re traveling there will be extended periods of time in which Wi-Fi is inaccessible, and it may feel like there’s no chance of getting anything accomplished. This isn’t the case if you plan ahead! Choose a few tasks that you can complete while in transit and have it ready for you to work on, regardless of internet access. You may be able to finish up presentations, complete month-end reports or you can even cue up series of emails to send out the moment you’re back in a hot spot.
4. Do busy work during free time. Of course when you’re traveling, you’ll need to utilize every opportunity to meet with people face-to-face. However, there are always small chunks of 10-20 minutes in between meetings and presentations that can become golden in productivity. Stay off social media and spend those moments answering emails and keeping up with things happening at the office. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done by using break time wisely!
5. Stay off the phone. How often do you excuse yourself from a meeting or presentation to take a phone call from the office? It’s probably more than you realize, and while we totally understand that emergencies happen, it’s important to remember the purpose of your travels. Block off the majority of your time for in-person meetings, events and networking opportunities. You can always call them back!
6. Stay moving. One of the most productive things you can do while traveling is waking up an extra 20 minutes early for a gym workout or walk outside. Regular exercise changes the brain to improve your memory while keeping you energized, so there’s no reason to stop your routine when you’re on the road!
7. Finally, think about the big picture. One of the most productive things you can do when you’re on the road is to think broadly about the business. Invest a few small blocks of time to consider how you can grow your business with more creatively, improve efficiency and productivity, and who you can reach out to and help them exceed their goals. These big picture moments will help put into perspective, once again, the reason for your travels and the difference you can make for your company and in your career.
Do you have any other clever tips to stay productive while traveling? Comment below with your thoughts – we’d love to hear from you!