As an entrepreneur, digital nomad, or any other profession that requires work + travel, you know that one of the most difficult things about traveling is having the skills to stay productive while on the road.
However, with our daily life being filled with distractions and your calendar having more to say on how you spend your time than you do, traveling for business has become quite the luxury. Traveling for business can potentially offer hours of uninterrupted time to be productive — a rarity this day and age- while you somehow still get the possibility to be relaxed, more or less.
All things considered, it’s tricky to balance the time you need to get things done and to stay on a deadline while enjoying yourself and having a good time. Simply wanting to be productive when your everyday routine is disrupted won’t be enough.
Our 7 tips below will help you maximize productivity while traveling!
1. Plan ahead
Create a solid plan ahead of your trip so you can keep track of the gaps in your agenda that can be used productively for important phone calls, additional meetings, or creating content.
Keep your schedule updated by tracking your activities (flights, meetings, events, etc.) along with the additional info (flight numbers, contacts, phone numbers, hotel reservations, etc.) Once you have a clear idea of the schedule that awaits you, decide how you will spend your free time: Get to know the city? Attend an event? Work on a personal project? Devise a new product?
Collect all the information about the things you would like to do. This will also reduce stress levels so you can spend more time calmly focusing on the work at hand.
If you travel a lot for work, or if your lifestyle involves moving a lot and working from different locations, you need an office on the go for when you’re away from home or work.
Invest in a travel bag that suits your needs and allows you to keep everything organized and easy to carry on to make routine travel effortless. With a bit of planning and simple storage techniques, a 3-5 day trip can easily be packed into a standard carry-on.
For more tips on packing techniques: 7 Pro Packing Tips to Avoid Travel Anxiety
3. Technology is your friend
One key to productivity is letting technology empower you. Use apps like Calendar, Google Docs, Wanderlist, etc. to better organize and manage all of your upcoming trip meetings and events.
Another thing to keep in mind is to synchronize the data you will need amongst all your devices so that everything is available on a tablet, smartphone, laptop.
Finally, consider investing in some travel-friendly electronics like a Wi-Fi hotspot, noise-canceling headphones, power-bank, extension cords, and so on. These definitely help for keeping efficiency and could be lifesavers in some circumstances.
4. Spontaneous Networking Opportunities
It’s a networking scene at 35,000 feet: One in five people surveyed has done business with someone they met on a plane and being on the road is an opportune time to meet new people. Networking on a business trip can be a rewarding way to meet potential clients, partners, or investors.
You never know where or when your next collaboration may appear, so be ready to talk about the work you do and the opportunities you are looking for may result in options that did not exist before.
5. Inspiration in the Clouds
Use the down-time on your flight to your advantage and get plenty of work done. You can get those follow-up emails you’ve been needing to write, edit pictures, read or even listen to that business podcast or TED Talk you’ve been wanting to hear for a while.
Somehow, we get the best ideas when traveling, so don’t waste your time on a flight if you really need to get things done!
6. Finding Your Own Style
Not everyone is going to travel the same way. For example, some people may not be able to read while in a vehicle, and some may have trouble sleeping on airplanes. The goal isn’t to fall in line with a series of productive habits, but rather to craft your own habits to maximize your personal productivity. Learn which strategies and actions suit you best, and customize your own set of approaches.
7. Allow yourself downtime
Make time to explore the destination you’re in and blur the lines between business and pleasure. As well as providing you with new experiences, it will stimulate creativity and may even spark new ideas that you can apply to something you’re working on. Not to mention that it will give your brain a break and let you relax so you’re ready to go when it’s time to start working again.