For many of us, business trips are an inevitable part of our jobs. Routine travel for sales pitches, conferences, expos, trainings, and more are essential for gaining new business and moving projects forward.
But being in a new place while keeping tabs on the office can make these trips feel more like stressful interruptions than time away. The good news is that there are ways to make the most of business trips and come back to a calm (as it can be!) office. Read Arden Coaching’s four tips below to find out how.
Business Trip Tip #1: Tie Up Loose Ends Before You Leave
For most of us, our normal day-to-day jobs don’t stop while we’re away, which makes having to jet in the middle of—well, anytime really—inconvenient. To avoid coming back to total chaos, make it a point to manage what will continue in your office while you’re away.
Set your out-of-office email message and make sure that an assistant or coworker knows what tasks on your plate can be passed to others. You don’t want to overload yourself before your trip. It’s important to understand that not everything will be done before you leave, but the more you can prepare, the less frenzied you’ll be when you get back.
Business Trip Tip # 2: Be Proactive with Plans, Schedule Prep Time
This may seem like an obvious step, but taking the time to pack the materials you’ll need for your meetings and engagements (documents, agendas, slideshows, etc.) and then planning when you’ll get to prepare for each portion will help you stay level-headed during your travel and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
For example, if you’re flying out for a sales pitch, pencil in time where you can closely read the proposal, whether that’s on the plane or in your hotel room. You want to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the engagement you’re traveling across the country to host, contribute to, or attend.
Business Trip Tip # 3: Don’t Forget to Pack a Little Piece of Home
As creatures of habit, being in a new place in general can throw us off. Add in having to speak at a conference or win new business and it’s easy to lose sleep, get stressed, or not feel like yourself. Even though you’re traveling on business, one hugely important part of getting the most out of your time away is making sure that you still take care of you.
One of the best ways to do this is to plan for a few of your favorite things to make their way into your suitcase. This could be your favorite bunny slippers, sneakers for a workout, or a book you enjoy reading before bed. These things will help you to keep your calm while you’re in a new place and focus when you need to.
Business Trip Tip # 4: Schedule Time for Recovery
Our final tip is to schedule some time to rest up before you go back into the office. Traveling takes a lot out of you on top of the added pressures of speaking or presenting. And hard as you may try, you’ll probably have some catching up to do the day you return, so it’s wise to come back well-rested. Be reasonable and generous when planning your return—if your plane lands at 11 pm, don’t plan to be back in the office at 7 am.
Traveling for work may be part of the job, but making the most of business trips doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. Try these tips and see how much more rewarding your experience is from both sides.
Want more tips for putting your priorities in gear, inside and outside the office? Contact Arden Coaching to see how an executive coaching partnership can help you jump-start productivity and introduce new ways of thinking today.