Business often involves a lot of traveling, for better or worse. While I find travel incredibly stimulating (I’ve come up with many of my best ideas at 30,000 feet), I know that leaving town can be problematic for some people. Everything from packing to getting a good seat to fighting jetlag can turn into a hassle.
But there are ways to make business travel go more smoothly. Here are eight of my top tips:
1. Make a plan.
As soon as you board the plane, train or automobile, decide whether or not you’re going to get some work done while in transit. If so, set out a clear plan for what you intend to achieve. Make a list of small goals that can be accomplished before you reach your destination, or polish your rough notes into clearer, more refined ideas. But if you’d rather switch off completely, that’s fine, too. On many occasions I just sit back, relax and watch a good documentary while traveling.
2. Get some sleep. Some people struggle to sleep on planes; thankfully, I am not one of them (I find it easy to nap on our Virgin flights). Falling asleep on a plane is easier when you have cleared your mind of any pressing concerns. Remember that the plane should be going hundreds of miles an hour, but your mind should not. If you decide you’re going to sleep on a flight, empty your inbox before boarding, then switch off the laptop and use the time to unwind.
3. Don’t fret over jet lag. This can be an issue for many business travelers, and I have found that the best way to deal with jet lag is to simply live in the moment. Try not to worry too much about being in a different time zone. On a few occasions this year I’ve ended up going to five countries in three days, facing a packed schedule in each. I’ve concentrated on having plenty of fun in each destination, and time has flown by.
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