By Nathan Strum
For a relative portion of entrepreneurs, traveling for work is just a part of the job. You may do it often or not, but the point is that we can relate to time management difficulties, heavy workloads, and not being in the office for days. It just becomes so easy to let your routines slide and fall into the “now.” Natalie Sisson with The Suitcase Entrepreneur weighs in, “Different time zones can play havoc with your sleep and energy levels. Lack of knowledge of local amenities means you have to resort to non-healthy food choices, and days filled with meetings can disrupt your normal working patterns. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A little preparation and some savvy moves will see you feeling right at home in whichever city you’re off to.” From personal experience, it is hard to create a system in which you are productive, on task and not too far off from your regular routine, but here are a few tips that I, along with other entrepreneurs, have found helpful.
Take advantage of your flight
Some use the time they are on the plane as time to read a book, sleep, or do nothing, but you can get a lot off work done during this window. Richard Lorenzen commented on The Huffington Post, “After early mornings, the next most productive blocks of time are when you are on an airplane– the longer the better. Your phone will not be ringing, texts and social media will not be blowing up and you have nothing but solitude to focus on that task you have been putting on the back burner for days because of the day to day fires that need to be put out. Now is especially the time to tackle any tasks that require extensive writing, reading or planning. Some of your best brainstorming and creating can happen while on an airplane. Don’t waste that time watching movies.”
Carry your business cards with you
Patrick Hull suggested this valuable tip on Forbes.com. He labels this tip as an obvious one, but many entrepreneurs often overlook this easy trick. He states, “I prefer to carry cards in my pocket rather than keep them in a suitcase or briefcase because they serve as a constant reminder. You never know when you might bump in to a potential client or a colleague. I’ve met potential clients/customers and vendors in airports, taxi lines, hotel lobbies, conventions, and on planes.”
Fuel your energy
At first, I found this one tough, but it can be done! Being in a country, city or state that is not your own can impact your health routines. Anders Hasselstron with Startuptravels weighs in, “Live healthy while on the road. Make sure to exercise properly and eat healthy. A large amount of your energy will be used when pitching your ideas to people you have recently met, and this takes a lot of energy. Ensure that you have a few energy bars in your bag – they may come in handy. Of course you also need to enjoy the local cuisine, but be sure to do so with a healthy attitude. Traveling as an entrepreneur can get difficult and exhausting, so make sure that you have the energy that is need to leave a great impression. Bring your A-game!”
Let clients know you are out of town
Patrick Hull suggested this tip as well. He finds it important to setup an automatic out of office response. He suggests, “I recommend putting up an out of office response when you’re traveling to set expectations of those contacting you. They will understand if you can’t respond right away. Plus, if you’re on the road and do respond quickly, they’ll be impressed and think that you consider the relationship important.”
Hope these tips help you on your next travel!