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4 Surefire Ways To Travel Like A Boss in 2016

4 Surefire Ways To Travel Like A Boss in 2016

If you’re anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with business travel. Of course, it’s always great to go someplace different, experience the culture, try new and exciting cuisine, and meet awesome people– but long flights, airplane food, and dingy hotels are all things I can live without.

On the plus side, after traveling quite a bit for both business and pleasure, you tend to develop a sense of how to do it better, avoiding all the downsides of travel. Here’s some of my favorite tricks of the trade:

1. Protect your belongings both on and offline

As many of us have learned the hard way, being a foreigner basically means you are a walking target for theft in both the physical and virtual sense. For example, while at the Eiffel Tower, I was asked to sign a charitable petition, but I hesitated because something didn’t sit right to me. I later found out it was a scam, and others who fell for it were pick-pocketed as they signed.

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While I was fortunate to detect the crime before it happened, cyber theft is much more subtle. Like the conventional thief, cyber criminals are looking for the most vulnerable individuals: i.e. ones not familiar with the culture, or lacking awareness of where they are to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers bank information and more.

Having such information stolen from you certainly turns any pleasant getaway, into a disaster. That’s why it’s essential for us to take necessary precautions. I personally use SaferVPN while I browse the Internet in coffee shops, hotels, airports and other locations with unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. The tool allows me to browse the Internet with a completely secure and private connection, so I can catch up with work anywhere and rest assured that all my passwords, personal information and email correspondences are fully protected.

2. Pack light

There’s absolutely nothing worse than that sinking feeling you get when you can’t find your luggage. In an instant you feel like everything you own is gone, regardless of the fact that it is only a small portion of your belongings.

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In contrast, if you are one of the fortunate travelers whose items come forth early on the conveyer belt, you are then stuck pushing around bulky, cumbersome luggage–at least until you can find a cab. But we all know local transport is part of the travel experience. As such, it’s more than a little bit of a bummer when you’re not able to explore like the locals.

So, either way you look at it, there is zero benefit to bringing lots of luggage. To avoid this, pack light enough to put all your belongings into carry on. This way, you get off that plane fast, keep all of your belongings in one place, and are free to travel wherever whenever.

3. Tour spontaneously

Travel guides give you all the details on the conventional destinations in a given area. By reading one, you might  discover an abundance of information on a place’s history, classical art, and famous architecture. While this is all well and good, you may never actually find out what makes that culture tick today, which in my opinion, takes away from your overall experience.

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So get off the grid by befriending locals, walking down the street and discovering local treasures. Simply walk into a local restaurant and find out what types of food people eat, and ask the waiters and waitresses about the best nightlife, markets, and local shops.

If you need a bit more of a guide, there are some great apps out there to give you all the lowdown on the city you’re visiting. If it’s food you crave, try LocalEats, an app that helps you discover the best independently owned eateries. For advice on local activities, use Spotted by Locals, an app which is written by residents in order to help tourists find the hottest hangouts in the city. These apps are especially great for business travelers who may not have the time to go on an organized tour, but still want to have an experience.

4. Travel in style

With the world becoming smaller every day, more and more inventions are being created to make the process of travel easier and more convenient. If you are an avid traveler, I definitely suggest checking out some of the latest new gadgets and travel accessories.

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In addition to packing, another challenge in travel, at least for many of us, is of course sleep. I personally find that with my head and neck in awkward positions, I simply can’t comfortable enough to fall asleep. Of course, if you’re traveling for business, showing up tired the next day is not ideal. So I bought the J Pillow, which supports my head, neck, and chin in order to make sleep come easier. This way, I wake up refreshed and ready to take on a day of meetings.

Lastly, my  worst nightmare when traveling is losing my phone, keys or something else of value. That’s why I love the Nokia Treasure Tag. This simple device attaches to any object, like keys for example, and it will alert your phone if you forget it. This way, I never lose sight of my favorite things and I am freed up to travel with ease.

Traveling can be stressful. But, if done right, it can be an unbelievable experience where you learn new things, discover different cultures, and gain fresh perspectives that can take you further in both business and life in general.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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