Has a recent business trip left you feeling like you’ve wasted your time? It’s more common than you think.
Travelling for business is an unavoidable necessity, many business owners and employees spend weeks, sometimes months of the year in another city meeting important professional contacts. If the trips are a success they can result in improvements to either your career or business.
Unfortunately, not every business trip is a productive use of time and often they can leave a strain both physically and mentally, especially after a succession of them.
Having unproductive business trips is one of the fastest ways of feeling deflated and demotivated about your work, both of which are visible in office environments.
In truth, no business trip has to be a waste of time. Here are five ways you can make sure every business trip is productive.
Nothing makes you more effective than preparation.
Spend time planning and preparing for business trips ahead of time enables you to maximise your output and reduces the stress you normally experience.
Checklists might seem like a boring task, but utilise them to get all home affairs in order before leaving and to make sure you’ve not forgotten anything important.
Make new professional contacts whilst away by attending networking events in different cities and countries.
Not only does networking somewhere else improve the scope of your business or career, it also improves your confidence and self-esteem as you meet and speak to new likeminded individuals who could contribute to your professional life.
Take in New Culture
Being surrounded by four walls for an entire business trip is an easy habit to get into. We don’t always take the time to explore new cities when away, but it’s a great opportunity to take in a new culture and to develop our understanding of the world.
Stepping away from screens and meetings to take in the best that each city has to offer gives us a chance to reflect on the work we’ve done. Attending local art galleries and museums is a great place to start, but there’s always much more on offer.
Block out Your Calendar
Ever feel like you’re spending most of your time outside of the office? You probably are.
Time management is one of the most effective ways to maximise productivity on business trips. It’s easy to get stuck into the trap of spreading them out across the year but consider blocking out a few weeks out of the year to get them all done in one swoop.
Getting them all done around the same time means you can focus on other things for the rest of the year. Business trips and meetings can stifle our workflow so dedicating a block of time is worth the forethought.
Time to Relax
Being in a new city in a professional capacity can be stressful, especially if you’re getting a poor night’s sleep.
If you’re organising your own accommodation make sure you do plenty of research before booking, concierge services can be a useful way to get the most out of your stay as they help you to organise your trip, learn more here.
Wherever you stay, make the most of the facilities available to you. Feeling relaxed and well-rested before important meetings not only improves cognitive ability but will also leave you feeling recharged and prepared.
Work on New Ideas
New environments and situations present us with some of the best ideas, they’re often unexpected. Dedicating some time to brainstorming new ideas whilst away can be the catalyst for massive changes in both business and careers.
Let new ideas flow by keeping a journal whilst away or taking notes and reflecting on them during downtime. Upon returning, make sure you implement your best ideas as soon as possible to make sure they aren’t forgotten.
Ultimately, an unsuccessful business trip doesn’t have to mean an unproductive business trip. Building a better relationship with your working life starts with making the most of your time whilst away on business.