If you are anything like me, in traveling a lot either for business or personal then you’ve most likely experienced the impact that this can have on your productivity…
The photo you can see it’s my little girls carrying their own suitcase at the airport!
Here is this great article from the amaSSSing Alex Mandossian, specially for you:
Travel, whether personal or professional, can be one of the most stressful activities you do. The reason for that I believe is because there are so many unseen forces at the airport, on the freeways or turnpikes, at the bus station, or in a train station.
The three strategies I’m about to share with you will tip the scales in your favor so you enjoy your travel, whether it’s for business or a family vacation, and so it will be a lot less stressful when you finally get back.
Tip #1: No follow up with your email or voicemail when you’re away
When I’m traveling, whether it’s a one-day speaking gig in Singapore, a five-day speaking intensive in Great Britain or a three-day event anywhere in North America, I focus on my students. I focus on my audience. If I’m traveling on vacation with my family, I want to focus on my family. It’s not fair to them for me to do business while I’m away.
What I do is set up my email with an autoresponder while I’m away, which knows that I want the person who’s emailing me to automatically get a message back that says, “Please get back to me after such and such date.” That date is usually a day after I get back so that I can use it as a buffer, and I can rest.
All emails are deleted. That’s what I tell them in the email. “This email will be deleted. If it’s a dire emergency, you can contact my general manager by phone.”
Very few people call. There are very few direct emergencies, and this works. When I come back, I don’t have emails piled up that are unread, and I don’t have to deal with emails while I’m away. I do the same thing with voicemail. My voicemail will not allow you to leave a message, and that’s great because I don’t have 50 voicemails to respond to and follow up on when I get back.
There should be no email or voicemail while you’re away so you can focus on the task at hand. After all, that’s what productivity is — getting more done faster, better and easier when you’re focused.
Tip #2: No heavy business activity the day before you leave, and no appointments or heavy business activity the day after you come back.
Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach, calls this buffer days, and I believe if you have a three-day vacation, then it’s really a five-day vacation.
You have a buffer day the day before, and you have a buffer day the day after you come back.
If you’re away for two weeks — 14 days — it’s really 16 days because it can be stressful before you leave and stressful when you come back. So you should have nothing heavy, nothing that requires a lot of focus, the day before you leave or the day after you come back.
Just make those days your planning time and recovery time.
Tip #3: Make it so you arrive in the afternoon
It doesn’t matter if you’re on vacation or on a business trip, plan it so you get back to your home or your office in the afternoon. I have colleagues, friends and loved ones who arrive after a long trip at 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 at night.
It’s mind boggling. It’s exhausting.
The reason I like to arrive in the afternoon is because it gives me some recovery time during that buffer day, and I can pack my bags before the trip or put the suitcases, backpacks and notes away when I return so I can go to sleep, bring closure to my vacation and start the day fresh the next day.
I have found that to be the single, most productive tip anytime I’m away on vacation or business travel. Make sure the suitcases are packed, and the notebooks are filed away. Then you start the day fresh.
“” Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. – T. S. Elliott
This productivity tip on travel is simple, but it’s not easy. In fact, it takes a little bit of courage. If you live into it and explore the possibilities, you’ll be a lot more productive and get more done faster, better and with less human effort.