Since the 911 disaster in the United States many companies have curbed travel and are opting for meetings via teleconferencing, webinars and Skype. For those who still find themselves standing in security lines or eating airport food more often than they’d like to admit, you recognize the importance of maintaining a level of productivity even though your routine is skewed being on the road.
Here are some suggestions for making sure your productivity level remains high regardless of where you’re at when your head hits the pillow.
1. Use a Packing Checklist -If you consistently forget your belt, put it on your list! Store the list in your luggage.
2. Keep all travel-related documents together in a file. I use a green poly project folder and keep it in the same briefcase pocket for every single trip so I always know where it is. It contains an envelope for receipts and has confirmations of air, hotel and rental cars. When you receive travel confirmations via e-mail, insert the e-mails in your Outlook Calendar on your travel date so you’ll have it electronically too.
3. Voicemail Log Book – this inexpensive (less than $5) item helps me jot down all voicemail messages I may get while away from my office. It becomes the “home” for pertinent messages and information. No more scraps of paper, backs of envelopes or business cards to jot something down on.
4. If you travel a lot, you may want to purchase an extra charger for your phone. It’s so handy to keep in your luggage and you’ll never get caught running out of battery. In that same vein, have you ever left the office without your power cord for your laptop? Disastrous! You might want to get an extra power cord while you’re getting a phone charger.
5. If you like to exercise but don’t always feel like using the hotel’s fitness room, pack your favorite Pilates DVD and get a good workout in the comfort of your room.
6. In my travel laptop case, I keep the following items:
- Replacement battery for remote control
- Markers for flipcharts
- Masking tape – handy for marking flipchart pages
- Cough Drops/Kleenex
- Personal Hygiene Items
7. If you’ll be doing any type of presenting, take a back-up copy of your presentation on a flash drive. You can also e-mail it to yourself at a Yahoo or Gmail account. This way if your server is down you can still access it.
8. Prepare for the Inevitable – The more you travel, the greater chance that your bags will get lost.
- Travel in business attire so you’ve got something to wear the next day if your bags don’t show up.
- With your phone, take a photo of your luggage so making a claim will be easier. If you’re like me, you know your bag is black but don’t necessarily know the manufacturer or where the logo appears on the bag. Photos will help. Trust me. Been there. Done that.
- Tape your ID on the INSIDE of your bag and make sure your outside ID tag is up-to-date.
Many of these suggestions represent the little things that can steal big chunks of your time if they go awry. Having things in place – power cords, travel information and that brown belt – will help you concentrate on conducting the business you traveled to do.