ExecuJet Africa is celebrating its prestigious status as operator of the first ever jet to land at St Helena Airport (HLE) in the South Atlantic Ocean.
For many people, travelling is a requirement of the job. Some even spend the majority of their time travelling, leaving little to no time in the office to get work done. So, what are you supposed to do when the work is piling up and can’t wait for you to get back? The trick is to get the work done while travelling so that you can stay on top of your game and maximise productivity. Here are a few tips and tricks that’ll help you along.
The night before you leave for your trip set an hour aside to take stock of what needs to get done while you’re gone. Burying your head in the sand and waiting until you get back to see what is waiting for you is a recipe for disaster. You need to get ahead of the problem before one exists. Make a list of everything
that will come up while you’re away. Is there an upcoming meeting you need to prepare for? A report that needs to be written? The key is not to wait until you get back so that you’re scrambling at the last minute to get it all done.
Now that you’ve taken an inventory of what needs to be done look at your travel schedule. Find pockets of open time and set yourself appointments to work on specific tasks. By writing them in your schedule, you’re committing to getting the task done during a certain period. This will make it less tempting to go to the hotel bar for a few drinks or to binge watch Netflix in your hotel room.
Car rides, air travel, and time spent at the airport are easy places to squander your time away. They’re also the best places to get some uninterrupted work time. Do you have a report that needs to be written? Why not use your time in flight to get it done? Do you have calls to partners or clients that need to be made? Make them on the cab ride from the airport to your hotel. Do you have research to do? Put your headphones on, connect to the airport’s hotspot and get it done. Getting the work done is simply a matter of utilising your time wisely.
Don’t forget to pack all the necessary tools you’ll need to get work done. Make a list and be sure all necessary items get packed. Think laptop, Dictaphone, tablet, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. Whatever it is you might need to make your job easier. You’ll also want to ask yourself if there are any apps that you might need to make your job easier. Think Evernote, Trello, Skype, etc. There’s no reason you can’t make use of these apps to get work done on the road. For instance, were you postponing a meeting until you were back in town? Why not use Skype and have a virtual meeting.
If you have a difficult time working from your hotel room, there are other alternatives you can explore. The hotel might have a business lounge or space where you can get work done. Before your trip, you can also do research to see if your travel destination has any co-working spaces. These types of spaces are great for several reasons. For one, you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals who can help fuel your motivation. You also have access to phone lines, printers, fax machines, etc.
Sometimes there are tasks that just can’t be done while on the road. In those cases, ask yourself this one question “is it absolutely something that I have to do myself or is it something that can be delegated”? If it can be delegated, don’t hesitate to do so. You can always return the favour when one of your colleagues needs something done. Being successful means being part of a team. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
No one said your trip has to be all work and no play. Remember how we said to schedule blocks of time for work? Well, do the same for leisure. Make sure to schedule after the work is completed. That way, it’ll be your reward for a job well done.
Business travel is a reality for many people. It’s easy to use it as an excuse for why the work on our desk is piling up. In reality, there is no need. In fact, many would agree that they have more time on their hands while travelling because they don’t have any of the extra home responsibilities to deal with while on the road. With a little planning and self-discipline, you can accomplish quite a bit of work while travelling. Not only will this set you apart from your colleagues, but you’ll also feel in control and enjoy your downtime a lot more without piles of work hanging over your head.