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7 Time Management Tips for Road Warriors

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7 Time Management Tips for Road Warriors

    Traveling for business purposes often takes up a lot of time and it can really kill your productivity. It is easy to drop your habits, slack on work and to slip up on activities that could unnecessarily waste your time.

    Whether you’re new to being a “road warrior” or you’re a veteran – here are seven time management tips to help you make your business trips more efficient.

    1. Smart Packing

    Don’t leave packing till the last minute. Your chances of forgetting important documents, chargers and miscellaneous things are very high if you are in a hurry. Give yourself at least 24 hours.

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    This might seem obvious but I will state it anyways – do not bring more than you need. Some of the essentials you need to bring include:

    • Laptop, tablet, phone and their respective chargers.
    • Clothes.
    • Passport, ID and any visas.

    For frequent travelers, I would recommend to make yourself a checklist for your bare minimums so your packing process will become more efficient.

    2. Cloud Syncing

    It is worthwhile investing some time into having your files and documents synced up through “the cloud”. This will ensure you will always have access to the latest versions of your documents across all computers. Nothing is more painful than to realize while on the road that the important document you had to print is only available on your desktop computer at home.

    A simple solution is Dropbox – it allows you to store files in the cloud and it supports multiple platforms. And best of all: it’s free.

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    3. Combat Jetlag

    Jetlag can be a huge waste of time. If you are crossing multiple time zones you might have to combat jetlag. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to adjust to new time zones – just switch time zones the day before or on the day of of your travel.

    This might mean that you have to stay up longer or go to bed earlier, but it will help you adjust more effectively once you arrive at your destination.

    4. Internet Access

    Before you head out, make sure you have figured out how you will have Internet access. This will make your trip a lot more comfortable. Don’t rely on WiFi networks; purchase a USB dongle with credit so you can have worldwide access. For domestic trips, your data plan on your phone will be good enough (especially if you can tether it to your laptop/tablet).

    In today’s world there is no reason for you to be disconnected unless you’re in a remote part of the world.

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    5. Napping

    When you’re on the road it can challenging at times to get enough sleep and it gets worse if you have jetlag. Napping is your best friend when it comes to staying energized while you’re traveling; a 20-30 minute nap can make a big difference to how you feel.

    I highly recommend that you get an eye mask. It will help you fall asleep faster since it blocks light from your eyes (which will trick your brain in producing melatonin – the hormone that helps you fall asleep) and earplugs to block noise.

    6. Uninterrupted Time

    You get the most work done when you have no interruptions. However, uninterrupted time becomes a scarce commodity when you’re traveling. When you see a window of opportunity to have uninterrupted time – take it as if you life depended on it. You will be surprised how many of those little sessions you can grab if you are really looking for them.

    A lot of work can be done in those little time slots (think of how effective the Pomodoro Technique is — which is just 25 minutes).

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    7. Maintain Your Habits

    Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you can start slacking on your routines. I highly advise you to treat transit time as normal working hours and to keep working the same amount of hours you normally would — especially if you are on a plane. Air travel is a great opportunity to get work done and to catch up on stuff.

    Also make an effort to stick to your exercise schedule and to maintain your eating habits as much as possible (which is one of the biggest challenges for travelers). Planning ahead will make it a lot easier to stick to your habits. Figure out if there is a gym at or near your hotel and research if there are any (healthy) restaurants that match your eating habits. This will save you a lot of time, you’ll be more prepared and your chances of keeping up your habits are a lot higher.

    Do you have any other time management tips for business traveling the you’ve used? If so, please share them in the comments.

    (Photo credit: Businessman Carrying a Briefcase via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on January 13, 2022

    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

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    How to Use Travel Time Effectively

    Most of us associate travel and time with what we’re going to do one we get to our destination. Planning and mapping out what to do once you arrive can certainly make for a more pleasurable vacation, but there are things you can do while you are on your way that can make it even better.

    Sure, you can plan for the things you’re going to do on your vacation while you are travelling en route – but what about making use of that time for other things that you don’t usually do when you’re at home? You don’t need to have your gadgets with you to do it, and you can really connect with yourself if you take the time to manage your life while heading towards your vacation destination.

    Here are some great tips to help you with your time management while you travel, some of which are more conventional than others. Nonetheless, you can find out what works best for you and apply them accordingly depending on when and how you are travelling.

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    1. Take Your Time Getting There

    As I write this, I’m on a flight to San Francisco. Flying is the fastest way to get from place to place, and for many people it’s really the only way to travel.

    But I’ve often taken the train or ferry on trips so that I have extra time without distraction to get more done. I’m not worrying about navigation or lack of space to do what I want to do. Instead I’m able to focus on getting stuff done during the time I’ve got without feeling rushed. For example, when I took the train from Vancouver to Portland, it was an eight hour trip and I managed to get a ton of writing done and closed a lot of open loops. It also was less expensive than flying, which was a bonus.

    Sometimes taking the long way to get somewhere on vacation can be the best thing for you to get somewhere with your life.

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    2. Go Gadget-Free

    This is going to be a tough one for a lot of you. But why do you need to bring your gadgets with you when you go on vacation? It isn’t be a bad idea to leave all but one of them behind, and only pull out that one when you absolutely need to do so. In some countries, you’d be wise to be discreet with them anyway since flaunting them in front of those that are less fortunate than you isn’t a good practice. While it may not seem like flaunting to you, in different cultures it can definitely come across that way.

    If you can’t go gadget-free, then at least go Internet-free. If you use a task management app that requires syncing across your multiple devices to be effective, remember that if you only have the one device with you then it can be the “master device” for the time being and will store your data locally anyway. Just sync up when you get home.

    3. Reflect and Prepare

    Finally, going on any sort of excursion gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been. The fact you have removed yourself from where you usually are can give you a perspective that you simply can’t get when you’re at home. You may want to journal your thoughts during this time – and by taking more time to get to your destination you’ll have more time to dig deeper into it.

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    After a period of reflection – however long that happens to be – you can then begin to not only prepare for the rest of your travels, you can prepare for the rest of what happens afterward. The reflection period is important, though. You need to really know where you’ve been in order to properly look at where you want to be. Time away from things gives you that chance.

    Conclusion

    Traveling isn’t always about where you’re going and how quickly you can get there. In fact, it’s rarely about that at all.

    More often it’s where you’re at in your head that will dictate how much you benefit from traveling. So don’t just go somewhere fast. Instead, take your time on the way there and take the time to connect with not only where you are but who are while you’re there.

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    If you do that, you’ll have a better chance to be who you want to be when you leave.

    Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

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