If you're an entrepreneur, you know we're the only ones who would work an 80-hour week to avoid a 40-hour week. Your business is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of before going to bed.
For busy folks like us, there seems to be no such thing as work life balance and many of us do not believe in it. However, if you understand how to stay productive, you know there are consequences to this lifestyle. Burn out is a real thing and can not only set you back a few days on productivity but it can sneak up on your immune system, potentially causing you to miss time off of work.
So, I get it. At best, we must rely on work-life blending. Throughout my career, I've been a road warrior. Trust me when I say that. Lucky for me, I've always been able to flip the script and allowed my business trips to turn into mini-workations, boosting my productivity, rather than draining me once I got back to the office.
Here are some tips:
Remove the stress of traveling.
According to a recent study released by Harvard Business Review, one of the most stressful parts about a business trip is the preparation and departure period for it. There's no need to run a cost-benefit analysis for this one. Take care of the little things so that you can focus on the big things and remain productive.
Below are some tips:
- Get Unlimited Data. If you're traveling with regularity, I highly recommend it. You can't always get access to WiFi and it's one less thing to worry about.
- Register for TSA Pre-Check if you haven't. The interview process only takes a few weeks and the cost is a mere $85. According to the study from Harvard Business Review, departure is the most stressful period during business travel.
- Have your personal assistant or intern set up your travel arrangements. Decision-making is stressful, let them take care of it so you can focus on your tasks.
Stay in a central spot.
One unintentional benefit from a business trip is the change in scenery. Even if it is only for a couple of hours, this could do wonders for your emotional well-being. Take advantage.
Instead of hitting that nice gym at your next four-star hotel stay, which you can do at home, take a moment, walk outside, breathe the local air, and just people watch while you take a break between those Skype meetings.
On every business trip, I always try to visit China town by foot. This peculiar craving for Szechuan food has allowed me to visit Chinatowns in not only the usual suspects San Francisco, New York City, and Boston, but also Chinatown in Montreal and even Mexico City. Ask me a city and give me a moment to check my Yelp app, and if it is Szechuan food, there's a good shot I know something about it.
The build-up leading to the visit, along with my "side quest" adventures, has made my business trips much more anticipated, boosted my productivity, and allowed me to get my mind off of work so that I could crank out the emails once I got back to my cramped hotel room.
Take a detour back home.
Life is too short to fly in and out of the same predictable cities we always do business in. Recently on my last business trip to Miami, I found out that Merida, Mexico, which is littered with unbelievable ancient ruins, was just a two-hour flight away from Miami and somewhat on the way back home to L.A. After checking flights, I realized the additional cost was only an extra $150.
After working out the numbers, I was able to squeeze in a three-day workation over the weekend in the Yucatan peninsula. Despite, working on the weekends, the trip felt like a vacation because of its scenic beauty and because of the change of scenery, I was inspired and made serious progress on my book.
Next time you're crisscrossing the country or intercontinentally, check to see if that dream city of yours, which has been sitting on your bucket list for years, is on the route back home. Save some vacation time and find a way to work remotely for a day or two.
Traveling for business can be one of the most rewarding things you've ever done if done right. Instead of dreading it, make the most of it and leverage it to make it a rejuvenating experience.