Getting your ducks in a row when traveling can be the difference between a trip to remember, and a travel nightmare. A high school teacher once said: “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” That sticks, so now when traveling you can look for as many productivity hacks as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling for business, leisure, or both: productivity is key to the success of the trip. Staying productive while you’re on the go is all about staying one step ahead. So, what can you do to maximize business travelling?
Plan ahead: To enable your trip to run like clockwork, make sure you have itineraries for each of your scheduled meetings or activities. This is boring and obvious, but essential. Use services that allow you (or whoever is scheduling your trip) to book everything in one place. The one-stop shop approach is a godsend for people who just want to get to the next destination and start exploring!
We’re never far from our smartphones these days, so make sure any important documents or itineraries are saved onto your phone or tablet. It’s far more convenient when it’s all available at the touch of a button: it’s also far easier to lose a piece of paper than it is to lose your phone (hopefully)…
Offline working: Travel time gives you a good chunk of time to get some important work done when you’re starved of internet connection. Make use of your travel time by working offline. Before you leave the sacred WiFi zone, make sure any of the documents or programs you need to work from are available when offline.
You can work collaboratively on documents using Google Docs. Enabling offline has helped to get heaps of work done on flights to and from business excursions. An added bonus: The more work you can get done on the plane, the more time you have for fun when you land! Of course, sometimes email is King. If you need WiFi to be productive… almost every major airline will offer in-flight WiFi, it just might cost a bit extra.
Tech saves the day: Whatever technology that can be used to make one more productive, use it. This can be anything from apps, to gadgets.
For several people, an Apple Watch has become a major part of everyday life. It’s great for business travel and makes life much easier while on the go. When travelling, it alerts to any gate changes, delays and boarding times on the go, instead of having to look for the departures screens at the airport or on my phone. Another great advantage is that it can be used as the boarding pass for some flights, without the need to look on my phone or try finding a paper ticket. For people in the trade when we are all so connected our mobiles, having a smart-watch preserves your valuable battery charge when you’re on the go.
Stay connected with your team when travelling. Constant communication helps productivity a great deal. Can you remember life without Slack? With a team spread across six countries, Slack ensures that you can keep in touch with them easily, from wherever you are in the world. While communication helps to stay connected across the work that your team is doing on the ground, using task management tools like Todoist also helps get stuff done. You can see at a glance where projects are at, status updates on partnerships, and implementation stages of various pieces of work. It’s critical to success on a day-to-day basis, and extra important when travelling.
Have some you time: If you’re travelling for business, lock in some “me” time. Business travel can often be exhausting: you’re in a new place, and will often have lots of back-to-back meetings with customers, prospective clients, colleagues and whoever else. It takes a lot out of you. To ensure you stay on peak form, make sure you slot in some time for yourself. Bleisure travel is one of the biggest trends in travel right now — that is, when travelers mix their business trips with leisure time, allowing them to save money and time, and relax.
That mix of business and leisure on a trip not only saves money and time, but also gives you something more fun to look forward to when on your business trip. For business trips, knowing that you have a few days of relaxation after a manic day of meetings helps keep one motivated and productive. It’s almost like a goal to strive for, or a reward for a hard day’s work.
Pack an external phone charger! Can you live without the email apps on your phone? Email is still the best way to communicate… so when travelling or out and about, stay juiced up; so stay connected.
When travelling, we put a lot of strain on our smartphones. Be it emailing ahead of meetings, using Citymapper or Google Maps to get us to where we need to be, or soundtracking our aimless city-walks with podcasts. And being stranded in a city you’re not familiar with, with a dead smartphone is no good.
When any smartphone dies, so does productivity. This is a really simple, but really effective productivity hack. Pick up a portable phone charger! You won’t have to ration phone usage quite so much, and can relax, save in the knowledge that the power pack is going to keep you going for the day.