I travel about one-third of the calendar year and often get asked about how I manage to stay on top of things with such a busy travel schedule.
No doubt, it’s challenging. I’ve been going in and out of airports, checking in and out of hotels, traveling between cities, etc. But the important thing to remember when you have a similarly hectic lifestyle is to maintain your work ethic.
Here are a few things you could do to help you stay on schedule despite a busy traveling agenda:
1. Hire Well
If you have to be at work every day and night because you’re the only person who can get things done, you’ll never leave your office. That’s fine, if you can afford to do that. But as you scale, the functions of your company will also increase.
You’ll inevitably have to share the workload since you can’t possibly be in all places, all the time. Freeing up some mental space will allow you to target your attention and energy on the business tasks that matter the most. To get that extra bit of freedom, you have to hire extra talent. But make sure you hire extraordinary talent.
When flying abroad for a couple of weeks, you’ll only mentally detach yourself from pressing work issues if you’ve hired competent individuals who can get your vacated work done on time and to a high standard.
Follow these steps before hiring:
- Set qualifications for the type of candidate you need.
- Interview candidates thoroughly.
- If needed, set a sample test or exercise to filter out candidates.
2. Delegate Work Accordingly
It’s not easy to let go of the work pattern you’ve been following for many years. Once you get the right candidate, try to delegate some of your work to them so you don’t have to think twice about catching a flight to an important meeting with a potentially profitable client.
Even though it may be difficult at first, you’ll gradually become more comfortable entrusting work to them, especially if you’ve followed the steps above before hiring. The more work you can assign to your staff, the more you can go on business travels.
3. Trust Others
You can only delegate work to others when you trust their abilities. Again, if you hire the right candidate, this will eventually come easy.
A positive cycle effect can be created when everybody in a specific work process trusts each other. For example, when you show your trust in others, they’ll return that trust by performing well. Subsequently, you can entrust them with more work that will allow you to travel to presentations and seminars with a peace of mind.
4. Use Travel Time Wisely
For the times that you can’t delegate work to people in the office while you travel, here are tips on what you can do to stay on top of things:
- When standing in line at the airport, you can take out a notepad and think of new business ideas or take notes about important business issues.
- Rather than watching the in-flight entertainment, you should use this time to work on your laptop. The good thing about flights is that you won’t be disturbed by the office telephone or any of your colleagues. In fact, some of my best and biggest ideas for MOBE came to me during a long flight.
- When I worked in Perth many years ago, I would use the commute to perfect a big sales presentation or webinar by rehearsing and recording myself.
5. Recreate an Office Environment
When you’re staying in a hotel, you should place your laptop and documents similar to your office arrangement. Rather than treating the hotel as a place of recreation, treat it as a place of “work-away-from-work.” Replicating an office setup will help you engage in work better, thanks to an atmosphere that is now conducive to productivity.
Although downtime is important, ensure that you have a “work corner” where you can complete business tasks when needed. Taking your laptop to the hotel bed may be comfortable for the first few minutes, but you’ll soon start to nod off if you don’t have a designated work desk.
When I started out in the affiliate marketing industry, I spent the first few years working in my bedroom. Then in early 2011, I signed a lease for an office. Despite having only a little money, it was one of the best decisions I made because I was much more productive working in an undisturbed environment.
You can still work on a lot of tasks while traveling. However, it’s best to do the less important ones to increase productivity. For example, you can leave tasks like non-urgent emails for flights and commutes so that the time you have in the office is spent solely on critical business matters.
Lifehack reports that keeping email programs open is disruptive to efficiency. Rather, you should check emails five or six times a day and deal with them appropriately. So, either save those tiring emails for your travels or check on them sporadically throughout a normal working day.
Don’t think of traveling as a waste of work time; think of traveling as a great time to work.