This week we are talking about traveling for work and also having a life. Maybe you are the one traveling and maybe you aren’t. Even if you are the boss who isn’t traveling, this episode will help you understand the world of those who are. And, this is a voice of experience as a leadership and culture development consultant. Now, this was a decision I made by choice. But, you may have just been offered a project that will require travel and considering if you will take it or you may have just started traveling and now feel completely overwhelmed.
Thoughts for consideration:
- Let’s say you’ve just been offered a new project or job that requires traveling
- First, how much and for how long? Is it all week M-F or a few days a week or a month?
- If it is M-F travel, can you leave Monday morning and earlier on Friday to make it home?
- Negotiate your terms wisely and be way more conservative than flexible if possible
- This will require a considerable period of adjustment
- While you may be single and people assume you have more flexibility, you still have a life and guess when friends are getting together? Fri-Sunday!
Two Keys to Be Effective: Organization and Effort
- Effort; keeping in touch with your family and friends is just the same, but different
- You will need to use technology more (welcome to Facetime, text messages and the beautiful utility of Facebook, etc…) and know exactly what events you will NOT miss
- Remember that your family and friends miss you as much as you miss them!
- Kids birthday parties, anniversaries, funerals and those things that cannot be repeated may be important to you
- Be clear about this from the beginning with yourself and with your boss
- Remember that you are working when you are in a new city. Staying out late every night will not be helpful.
- Have very specific small bags with very specific compartments for very specific things that you can see at a glance.
- If a compartment is empty, what are you forgetting?
- My favorite backpack: Everki!
- Find routines that work really well for you; stay at the same hotel chain, fly the same airline (knowing your hub out of your home airport is helpful) and minimize having to “re-think” things and make unnecessary decisions.
- If you have a set of travel clothes, use them. No one will remember what you wear half the time; trust me!
- Use “elite” status as soon as humanly possible; your flights will get delayed or cancelled and those folks get re-booked first.
- TSA approval; imperative unless you like long lines and taking all of your clothes off
- Plan to eat very well and healthy in advance; pack healthy snacks in your bag. Nuts and apples/bananas are my favorite
- Be sure everything is fully charged before leaving your house and NEVER pack the day of your flight.
- Minimize significant stress by not attempting to hurry. You will regret this.
What works well for you when you are traveling? What doesn’t?