Staying at your best on a regular basis is a challenging task. It becomes even more complex when you transform into a road warrior and change your locations rather frequently. It's not a matter of a simple business trip, it's a complete shift in lifestyle and work routine when you're always on the go. It can seem a piece of cake, but actually, it's easier said than done. You're always distracted by odd views, not to mention poor internet connection, changing sleep patterns, permanent jet lag and the never-ending need to have a moment for yourself. Therefore, the natural question arises: “How can one keep effective while globe-trotting?” Let's see.
Plan everything ahead.
This comes first as it's the most vital point. Your primary task is to understand that your time is too precious to waste it or make use of it poorly. When you create the right plan for your trip, you become the master of your time. Make all necessary preparations, book rooms, schedule meetings, buy tickets, and make sure that you make it out. Create the vision of your forthcoming days and structure your activity. Moreover, keep your agenda to yourself. It has become a common thing to use your smartphone for these purposes. Download your favorite calendars and apps so you’ll know the next task on the agenda. Synchronize them with all your devices you'll always have the info you need.
Anticipate obstacles and figure out what may go wrong. What will you do if a storm hits your airport? What happens if your luggage goes missing? Be prepared for the shift in your itinerary and make a backup plan in advance.
Use your time wisely.
In order to stay productive, keep up with your plans and have some time for yourself. You're not a robot. You'll need some time to recharge. Make sure that your schedule includes enough sleep each night. Having a proper dream is the best choice for your health and effectiveness. No amount of coffee or makeup will substitute for your well-being.
One more thing is to make use of your time in the best way. By this, I mean that you are to utilize your gaps and breaks in the best possible way. Let's say that you have a four-hour flight. If you feel energetic, the smartest decision is to use such time to complete some work tasks. You can write a blog post, create a road map, read an article (use Pocket to read docs offline), which needs your revision or browse job-related papers. Something must be done. Procrastination is not your BFF.
Keep your devices powered up.
One of the most useful airplane hacks is to keep your gadgets charged. Bet that your smartphone, laptop, and camera contain all the vital data needed for your job and life in general. That's why you are to stock yourself up with portable USB chargers, power banks, and battery saving programs and apps. You don't want to forget about this.
Get ready to be offline.
You don't need to waste your time waiting for the webpage to load in some airplane, café or restaurant. Why stare at the screen of your device for half an hour hoping that you'll manage to read the article on time? You don't have to tolerate a low connection speed. Don't count on an internet connection in the middle of nowhere. Take your actions – download emails and docs offline, make screenshots of papers and webpages, put your notes in an internet-free app. Mind that airplane mode gives you a unique period of time when you're not distracted and are able to deal with your correspondence and lots of other issues. Sarah Devis, the road warrior and Skillroads team leader, states: “Flight time is the only break I have to look through my emails without dozens of new things, which require my attention online.”
Think of a laptop task list.
Make a to-do list on your laptop, and stick to it. Invest in a high-quality laptop, which will come in handy during your trips. However, don't forget to print out some papers just in case.
Keep all data portable, simple and ready to hand.
Since you can't tell where you'll be two days from now, being able to access, share, change and backup your files can make a huge difference. Thus, your top priority is to use such road tools as Telstra’s Cloud services or any other cloud storages, which helps to maintain effective client-company communication and keep all data at safely at one place. Moreover, to be more productive you are to sort all the data you possess carefully in separate folders, so it'll be easy-to-find.
Noise-canceling headphones are a must.
Another tip on how to be more productive is to utilize headphones, which will exclude all the unneeded noises from your life. Such headphones will help you get enough sleep on the road, complete urgent tasks in the loudest places and keep calm when the world goes wild.
Plan your future meetings and events.
Manage your travel time ahead and schedule all events, which need your undivided attention and time. You don't want to be late for the meeting of your life, right? Prioritize your forthcoming events, approve your involvement and clear out the details of such events, and save maps in Evernote. Where will it take place? How much time do you need to get there? Plan, plan, plan.
Bear the bag wisely.
Yes, you earn money and you're always busy but that doesn't mean that you can live beyond your means to increase your productivity. Of course, there are some necessary expenses but don't turn your life into continuous money transactions. Handle your receipts on spot with Expensify to stay on top of your accounting and track your costs.
Don’t undertake too many tasks – delegate.
You have a reason why you're working on the road, so don't be afraid to share your workload with the colleagues back at the office. You can't do all the work, there's no struggle in that.
Eat and drink alcohol strategically.
Caffeine and alcohol can decrease your productivity greatly. Coffee crashes your next eight hours of precious time and alcohol affects the whole day. Food is of massive importance, too. Push yourself to maintain your energy level by eating healthy food and drinks, which provide your body with necessary minerals and keep you fit.
All in all, combining work and traveling is a common experience nowadays, however, it's your essential task to do some preparation and take it really seriously. You're capable of everything.
What is your secret of keeping productive on the road? Have you used any of these bits of advice? Did they help you?