Business travel is part of the job, but it doesn’t mean your to-do list has to take a backseat. The best leaders in any given industry consistently find new ways improve their companies, make gains in efficiency maximize their productivity — all while on the road.
What can you accomplish while you’re away from your desk? With modern devices and software, just about anything. Here are a few tips to help you with time management, efficiency, and relationship-building whether you’re in the air or in a Uber.
Get everything on the cloud. Having constant access to client data is critical to a seamless transition from your desk to the road. Any hiccups that require you to contact an assistant or co-worker for client data will only slow you down during those precious periods at the airport or at the hotel when you have just enough downtime to check one task off your list.
Make sure to set up a virtual private network to secure your clients’ information from hackers who frequent spots with public Wi-Fi. DropBox is also a useful cloud-based tool for storing and accessing documents on the go.
Let someone else drive. It’s amazing the amount of work you can get done in the car, so see if you can get someone else to do the driving. It could be a colleague going to the same conference or a Uber driver shuttling you to the airport, taking the passenger seat can allow you to answer emails or put the finishing touches on that PowerPoint.
Reliable Wi-Fi. It seems like every coffee shop has Wi-Fi, but you might be surprised how often you can get stuck without access to the Internet or in a location that charges outrageous Wi-Fi fees. Make sure your computer or your phone provides its own Wi-Fi signal, that way you can make sure you stay connected, even when your conference books you at the cheapest motel.
Exercise. What sounds like an hour or two of lost productivity will keep you sharp while you’re on a business trip. Make sure to sneak in a trip to the hotel gym or get some outdoor activity, even if it’s not your favorite form of exercise. It will clear your mind, add perspective and increase your productivity.
Power up. There’s no productivity killer like a dead battery. Keep power cords handy and have a backup power source at your fingertips for when you can’t stay in one place to wait for a charge.
Focus. It’s easy to slip away on social media as you look for something to do between flights. Resist the temptation by downloading an app like “Focus,” which blocks distracting websites like Facebook and Twitter while you’re trying to get work done.
Offline projects. Sometimes there’s no Internet and no way around it. Make sure to download a few projects that you can work on offline in the meantime. You can get back to your email once you get back to “civilization” (i.e., a place with Wi-Fi).
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