Written on June 19, 2014 at 11:45 am, by Colleen Fogerty
As we all know, business travel and stress are far too familiar friends. Between hotels and packing, traveling and actually doing your work, a lot can go wrong, but you can’t let undue stress stand in your way. While on a business trip, your time should be shared exclusively between work and rest, meaning there’s absolutely no time for stress that’ll inevitably lead to a lack of productivity.
To ensure that a trip runs smoothly and stress is minimized, a good deal of planning is required. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stay stress-free and efficient on your next business trip.
1. Prepare to leave the office
You’ll need to stay present while traveling for business, meaning your mind can’t be back home at the office. Make sure you tie up all loose ends before you leave. Change your voicemail message and set up an automatic response to incoming emails so anyone who tries to contact you knows that you’re away. Also, make a list of tasks to complete when you get back, and delegate any day-to-day tasks that’ll need to be done while you’re away. This will help to clear your mind and make room for your responsibilities while on the trip. You can’t be everywhere at once, so don’t try! This will only cause unnecessary stress.
2. Pack smart
Pack light and limit yourself to a carry-on whenever possible. If you have to check a bag, wear your suit or business clothes on the plane. If your luggage gets lost, at least you’ll have one professional outfit until your items are returned. If you travel often, develop a packing list of your essentials to make packing quick and simple every time. Carry all important documents with you, including a list of important names and numbers you’ll need in case your phone is lost, stolen, or runs out of battery. For international travel, make sure you bring a copy of your passport. Being prepared will cut out a great deal of stress.
3. Take care of yourself
This trip might not be for pleasure, but you can’t do your best work without taking care of yourself. One of the most obvious ways to do this is making sure you’re well rested. If you’re going to need to adjust to a new time zone, try to use the time on the plane to do so. Coffee and melatonin will also be great friends during the transition. If it’s just a quick trip, planning meetings around your body’s clock might be easiest.
While you’re there, don’t forget to take time to explore the area. Set up a tradition for exploring all the places you get to visit–something little like going for a walk, shopping for a souvenir for a loved one, or visiting a local restaurant. It’ll help clear your mind and even give you something to talk about with your hosts.
You’ll also want to drink lots of water and pack healthy snacks for the plane ride and hotel room. Additionally, don’t be afraid to take time to get a quick massage, meditate, or go for jog to clear your mind. Being at the top of your game will help you be more productive and combat stressful situations.
4. Set up your phone and computer
Technology makes doing our jobs much easier, so you’ll want to take full advantage of your phone and computer’s capabilities. Before you go, make sure you know if your hotel has free Wi-Fi or not and plan accordingly. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to ensure that you have a cellphone plan that’ll work abroad. We depend on our devices for work and keeping in contact with loved ones back at home, so make sure you handle all of this before you leave. And, of course, you’ll want to download TripIt Pro to simplify your flight tracking and itinerary organizing.