Advertising
Advertising

7 Time Management Tips for Road Warriors

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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).

    Advertising

    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)

    More by this author

    How I Learned 5 Habits in 30 Days Five Simple Yet Effective Tips for Managing Your Email The Need for Work/Life Balance 7 Time Management Tips for Road Warriors

    Trending in Productivity

    1 15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators 2 How to Stop Bad Habits: 9 Scientifically Proven Methods 3 How To Be A Successful Person (And What Makes One Unsuccessful) 4 How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work 5 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on April 6, 2020

    15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

    15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

    Let me guess.

    You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

    Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

    First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

    Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

    Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

    1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

    Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

    Advertising

    The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

    2. Use Red and Blue More Often

    Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

    3. Create a Break Agenda

    List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

    Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

    4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

    Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

    9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
    9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
    10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
    10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
    11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

    Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

    Advertising

    5. Take It Outside!

    Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

    6. Become Productively Lazy

    Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

    7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

    It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

    8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

    According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

    Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

    9. Prepping the Night

    Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

    Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

    Advertising

    10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

    Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

    Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

    11. Set-up Mini Tasks

    If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

    Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

    12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

    I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

    Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

    13. Redecorate Your Room

    Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

    Advertising

    14. Ready Your Nibbles

    You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

    Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

    15. Schedule Your Chores

    Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

    For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

    More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next