Hitting the road can be fun, but not for all. Some people travel and bring their workload along for the ride. I am not going to lie, sometimes when I travel I take my work with me. However, this is more based on the flexibility my teaching, consulting, and writing profession offers me.
A few years ago we were on a family vacation in Sils Maria, Switzerland.
Located in the Engadine region in Graubünden, the region may be most recognized by avid skiers and hikers who head to the “Roof of Europe” to hit the slopes of St. Moritz. Sils Maria is a quaint village situated approximately 6 miles southwest of St. Moritz, high up in the mountains and still untouched by some modern technologies. Perhaps, that was the reason Friedrich Nietzsche spent his summers there in his retirement. In fact, we were fortunate enough to stay right next door to the Nietzsche Haus.
(*For a bit of history click here: http://youtu.be/GyNYtVW9TH0 ).
It’s wonderful to go on vacation and get away from it all, but if you still need to work while “getting away from it all” there may be some challenges. For example, not one place in Sils Maria accepted my American Express (so much for business write-offs). Also, the Wi-Fi only worked well in the lobby of our hotel; not the best place to focus and complete tasks.
Nevertheless, productivity can be an issue for most when working on the road.
In order to be productive, you will require loads of self-discipline to overcome the lure of distraction. For example, people watching, watching movies or venturing outside to play in a new town. Are you panning to take your work on the road? Then let me share the key steps in my process for travel and work success with you.
4 Tips for Travel and Work Success
1. Prepare – prepare – prepare
You need to have full preparations for all eventualities that may disrupt your normal work schedule. There can be a multiplicity of factors weighing against you. However, that does not mean you need to give up because people involved in small businesses cannot afford to be lackadaisical in their approach. Thus, you must not rely solely on Wi-Fi connectivity to get your job done because that is most likely going to leave you in a bind sometime or another. Have backups in the form of hard copies of important documents that are necessary for conducting business deals, otherwise you run the risk of making your entire business trip unproductive.
2. Organize your travel tools for work
You have to admit that you are not going to be as efficient on the road as you are in your office space. However, you need not make your productivity scenario worse by carrying a tablet instead of your regular laptop. Trust me when I say that this is going to prove immensely helpful when dealing with long presentations and complex spreadsheets. Moreover, remember to pack the lightest laptop available and one that is not a power guzzler. You should also try being resourceful by investing in a MiFi. Further, Many companies will provide you with a MiFi if requested.
MiFi is a small and portable wireless device that gives its carrier a permanent Wi-Fi hotspot wherever he/she goes, thereby remaining connected to the Internet. Developed by Novatel, the MiFi device is also called ‘intelligent mobile hotspot’.
Many smart phones these days can be used as mobile hotspot too (usually there is a service fee with your cell phone provider).
3. Contact the hotel ahead of time
You should thoroughly research the accommodations you are staying/booking for your trip. This is because the location of the hotel and the services it provides such as Wi-Fi connectivity can play an extremely significant role in making your stay more productive. Moreover, you can improvise with the items present in your room in case you do not have satisfactory writing arrangements by using anything from a side table to an ironing board as a flat surface.
4. Schedule your time and stick to it!
Make sure that you stringently stick to the work schedule that you have drawn up for your trip to be the most productive. You may face intense temptations to spend time visiting places on interesting destinations, but you should know better how to control that wanderlust. Stick to the schedule to make the most of what the business trip promises to you and your business.