Travel used to be that one thing that could throw off my productivity.
I wouldn’t keep on top of my day to day tasks while I was running between meetings.
I’d fall into the unhealthy traps of eating poorly and not exercising simply because I was away from home.
Here’s what I know now and wish I knew then:
- Batch your emails rather than letting them pile up or trying to answer things quickly on the fly. You’ll keep on top of them much more effectively by blocking out 2 x 30 minute timeslots in your diary each day.
- Save the reading that you need to do in a folder in your email so you can use waiting time to catch up on your reading. You could also download articles into your iBook application as pdfs (that’s what I do)
- Download podcasts and audio books to listen to. It’s a great way to learn as you commute. (I love Elizabeth Gilbert and Tim Ferris’ podcasts)
- Exercise. I make sure I schedule in a quick workout at some time during each day- sometimes as a social activity with co-workers from the other location. Just because you’re out of town doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself.
- Put everything in your calendar. As soon as your tickets are booked put the booking numbers and flight details in your calendar. Book out the time you are on the plane, and make two bookings either side for travel to and from the airport. This saves you time when you need the info and gives your colleagues visibility around your availability.
- Share you flight details with your pick up/destination. Checking whether a flight is on time is as easy as entering the flight number into Google. If your flight is delayed the person meeting you at the other end can track it. This will save you from stressing and will save the person meeting you from waiting around unnecessarily.
- Avoid airline food. When you’re offered the complimentary meal on flights be aware of the sugar content. The food is rarely healthy and will give you a sugar spike and crash. It may be unavoidable on longer flights. Have a healthy meal before the flight. Take nuts/dried fruit and water with you to help you to sustain your energy throughout the day. Consider taking supplements if you don’t feel your nutritional needs will be met while travelling.
- Merino wool/breathable fabrics/no ironing needed. The only garment I travel with that requires dry cleaning is my jacket. I travel with dresses that don’t need ironing and wear merino wool. It sounds like a no brainer but it took me years to work out I’d save time and money by doing so. I also feel fresher for longer.
- Keep an up to date travel checklist. Do you write yourself a list every time you travel? Is it the same every time? Type up a checklist in your the notes function of your iPhone. Title it #travel so that you can find it easily. Use your checklist prior to every flight.
- Small bags/cases. Do you travel with a stack of chargers and cables? Do they just get shoved in your bag somewhere? You probably lose one every other trip unless you have a small bag just for them. What about your receipts for your expenses? Every time you misplace them you’re burning money, have a small case for them in your bag instead. Try having a place, small bag or case for everything so you know where to find them. I also take small bag with me for laundry and one to carry my gym clothes when I need them.
Let me know how you go.