We all chase productivity and efficiency. Any business owner and manager knows that getting more done in less time (while of course not sacrificing quality) is a very simple key to success. Every single one of our efforts, all the advancements and improvements we do, all of them leads to maintaining and keeping to this simple principle. So it stands to reason that you should try to be in line with it at all times. Business trips can make this rather difficult, however.
We understand that you are there on a mission, but there are just too many distractions there, too many things to steal your attention away and keep you without focus. However, in the article below you can find some tips on how to avoid this, how to stay focused and on the ball when on a business trip.
Keep a good schedule
First things first – scheduling is a vital component of your efforts and work when on a business trip. It’s very easy to get distracted both because you will be tired from your trip and because there will be just so many new, different activities that can steal away your attention. So, make a valid schedule.
In this schedule you should always leave some room on “lost” time, i.e. time that you will spend waiting for a taxi, navigating the hotel, trying to reach the conference… Then, you should also have a set time when you should answer emails, get in contact with people on the home front, things of this nature.
Know where you’re gonna work
This one can become very tricky. Weak Wi-Fi can prevent you from doing almost any kind of work while on your trip, barring face-to-face meetings. For this reason, we suggest you do your homework and actually figure out (ask directly if you have to) the quality of the internet at your hotel. The same goes if you prefer working in cafes and libraries.
You also probably need a certain degree of comfort, and minimal stress, if you want to be as efficient as possible. This is a balance of comfort and entitlement, essentially. While you can’t really be so picky as to expect a space perfect for your needs in every, you also shouldn’t settle for an uncomfortable, stuffy café.
Try to relax a little
No matter how short or comfortable your trip is, you will feel tired. And if you are suffering from jet lag, a sore back because of uncomfortable seats, or just plain exhausted because of too many layovers and travel changes, you will need to rest. Fighting through the fatigue will sap your efficiency, it will make you less productive, and in general just plain worse at what you do. What we are saying is that taking a break, actually relaxing will make you more efficient, and will help you get more work done.
So, sometimes it’s ok to let loose and surrender to the many distractions that you are surrounded by. Your body will need it if you want to make the most out of your business trip. We suggest you have at least an hour every day to relax, as well as taking several hours to recuperate once you arrive at your destination. Also, try to get as much sleep as you can.
One part of productivity is using your energy and time wisely. For this reason, we suggest delegation as a vital part of improving your focus. Namely, once you’re on your business trip, you will have limited time, and your energy will be strained more than before. Try to transfer as much menial work as possible. Organize your business in such a manner where you have the right amount of time and focus to dedicate towards things only you can do.
For example, if you need small business legal advice it’s better to invest some money into meetings and consultation services from a legal company instead of you figuring out things yourself. When on a trip have some work, like speaking with suppliers, be transferred onto an employee. This is a great opportunity to nurture employee autonomy as well.
Don’t let your trip and productivity go to waste because you didn’t prepare properly. We warmly advise you get the right resources and items for your trip. Things like having your laptop charged up (and having your charger with you at all times), bringing a power bank with you, having the right documentation with you at all times… Carry a water bottle with you at all times, hydration is very important for the maintenance of your energy, health, and mood during your stay.
Have a physical map of the area with you, as well as downloading offline versions on your phone and on your tablet. Try to familiarize yourself with the area, check bus routes, have extra phone numbers for cabs. Read about the place, see how good public transportation is, and how easy it is to drive there if you’re going with a rental.
And there you have it folks, a couple of tips on staying organized and productive when you’re travelling for business. Just remember to always have a schedule in place, and to be as prepared as possible. Delegate as much of the work as you can, and figuring out what your “office” will be like. Finally, try to get some rest in as well, it can and will boost your productivity.