How to not get behind when on the road and be more efficient

Business travel represents one of the most challenging things for most folks when it comes to time management. Whether it’s a conference, an off site or customer visit, being on the road can pile up work and that’s just not good. I’ve just finished one the biggest travel years yet and 2008 has risk of being even more travel and effective time management is becoming far more important than ever.

Don’t get me wrong – the security lines, delayed flights and airports lines are fun and all, but work continues to accrue when in transit and it is effectively a continuous reality. I don’t have a list of tips per se only areas for consideration:

  • Work doesn’t Stop – This is a common pitfall, some folks think that being on the road alleviates, or at least postpones the daily administivia – wrong! Your customers still need service. Carve out time to email, return calls and touch base with key workplace constituents.
  • You Can Take a Meeting – This is the most interesting one to me. I find than many folks don’t take meetings on the road. Why not? 8 out 10 conference tracks are useless, 30 minutes out of an all day meeting can be refreshing and being on mute most of the time is ok. So why is it you decline most requests? Diversify and balance your day when possible.
  • Be the Timezones – If you are typically an East Coast worker and you go west you have at least 2 hours of free time in the morning to stay on top of things. If you go from the west coast to the east coast you can wrap up yesterday’s west coast work by 10AM ET. The challenging ones are the 5+ hour time changes, it almost seems that the work never ends – so pick a time to end and manage to it.
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