18 Apr The 5 Rules for Productive and Stress-Free Business Trips
In theory, traveling for conferences and staying in luxurious hotels seems like a dream job, but the reality is that everything that sounds perfect usually isn’t. Entrepreneurs who travel often for business may find themselves exhausted and unable to keep up with their working requirements.
Between packing, traveling, and hotels, the chances are something will take a turn in the wrong direction. Important documents may be forgotten, flights can be delayed, luggage can get lost, and hotels may not be first class after all. Without proper resources and being able to rest, the stress accumulates and productivity starts to decrease.
So, to avoid the suffering and ensure the trip goes smoothly, there are some helpful tips and tricks to implement for your next business trip. Follow these simple rules to say goodbye to stressful pressure and welcome productivity at any location.
Rule #1 – Plan the Trip in Advance
First of all, business trips are expensive and the superiors are expecting to see positive results from it. Get informed about the company’s policies and all the deadlines you’ll have to meet. Set clear goals for the trip and determine what you want to achieve. However, know your limitations and establish two or three main business objectives at most.
In addition, research the local recommendations and book a room suitable for your needs. To avoid additional charges, delete the browser’s cookies before booking a trip, as some of the sites will increase the rates each time you revisit their web page.
Also, don’t be in a hurry to pick a seat, as the most comfortable ones are saved for the day of the trip. Though they are more expensive, you can look for affordable solutions online at SeatGuru advisor.
Technology provides an advantage and allows you to complete your work assignments at a faster pace, so use all the available tools to become more productive. Check out if the hotel you are staying in has unlimited Wi-Fi access, so you can stay in touch with your superiors and people at home. You should also download some of many useful applications to better plan your trip. For example, TripIt Pro can simplify the flight tracking process and help organize your itinerary.
Rule #2 – Make a Schedule
After you have made the travel arrangements, it is now time to create a detailed schedule for the trip and meetings you need to attend. Make a list of key agenda items you need to cover for each meeting and people you need to contact in order to achieve your business goals.
Nevertheless, make sure the schedule includes necessary breaks, so that you can relax and recharge your batteries, as well as to follow up on the points mentioned in previous meetings. Running around without a well-developed plan can only lead to things piling up and make you look unproductive.
Rule #3 – Pack your Bags for the Occasion
Don’t overcrowd your bags when going on a business trip. Remember you still need to do a significant amount of work, so pack light and always have carry-on luggage by your side. Wear the suit in case your bags get lost on the plane. For those who travel often, it is advisable to develop a packing list of essentials to make the packing process easier. The list should include:
- Important documents, passport and passport copies
- Names and phone numbers for emergencies
- Power adapters for traveling abroad
- Ear plugs and a mask to rest
- Some medicine for potential headaches
- Extra chargers
- Hotel information
- Jacket or a sweater in case of bad weather
Rule #4 – Prepare for the Journey
Make sure you are well rested on the day of your flight. Sleep for at least 7 hours the night before to prepare your body’s internal clock for the time zone transition. Plan to arrive early at the airport because of the possible unexpected delays. As soon as it comes time to choose a line, avoid lines with couples and tourists going on a holiday. Pass them all quickly and safely board.
Likewise, be aware of jet lag. There are three essentials to beat it and stay carefree. Reset your watch to keep up with the time zone at your final destination and don’t eat much on the plane, but you should drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. When it comes to sleeping on the plane, sleep only if its night time, otherwise occupy your mind with other things and try to stay productive.
Rule #5 – Getting to the Designated Location
Keep in mind that business is the most important reason you are on this “vacation”. Of course, you can, as you should, take some time for yourself and explore the city, but show interest and respect others at the conference by not looking at your phone constantly.
Adjust the out-of-office reply feature and sing out of all messaging programs. Still, follow up the invitations and day-to-day conference information. Join the online conference group to make connections even before you arrive. Scout out the event and gather the useful ideas. Network at the conference and take picture of the conference map to keep track of where you need to be.
While this trip is not for pleasure, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the area and enjoy a few hours of freedom. Working constantly can overwhelm the brain and drain all your energy, so don’t forget to take the time to relax and clear your mind. Make it a tradition to explore the interesting places, local sites, and restaurants on every business journey. This will also give you something to talk about and connect with your coworkers.
By following these few simple rules, you will stay productive, stress-free, and on top of your game. Don’t be afraid to make the most of the trip, but take care of yourself, eat healthy, and rest, so that you could attend the conference with a sharp mind and a truly professional demeanor.