Boss Lady

How to balance productivity and leisure while traveling


Business trips are often listed as one of the perks of certain jobs. Unfortunately, those who travel often for work can attest to the fact that, more often than not, they can be closer to a nightmare. Tourism doesn’t really come into the equation: for most business travelers, all they see is the airport, the hotel, the client’s or partner’s offices, and whatever you can see out of the car window on your way to their headquarters. Days are spent in endless meetings, and productivity usually flies out the window. Digital nomads, on the other hand, can find it hard to concentrate because the allure of new destinations can be too strong. Whether you are traveling out of necessity or sheer wanderlust, here are some suggestions on the best way to balance work and fun.

Planning is half the work

Working and traveling both benefit from some proper organization. If you are going on a business trip, take the time to find out in advance as much as you can about what your daily schedule will be like. Google your destinations and explore the surroundings of your hotel and offices online. Research the local attractions, good restaurants, things to do and try. When you are going on a long vacation, you can have a lot of fun roaming and discovering the local life and hidden gems. However, if you are supposed to spend the better part of your day working, don’t leave leisure to chance.

Find the ideal working environment

When you stop to think about it, your office is probably the place where you spend the most of your time, second only to your bed. It’s a place that you are used to, and that inspires productivity. A change of scenery and the excitement of a trip can impact concentration negatively. Working cramped from your hotel bed or a loud cafe and losing your nerves because the WiFi is spotty is a recipe for disaster. It’s crucial that you find a working environment that will provide all the comforts that you need to keep working away from home. A lot of the times, the solution that makes the most sense is using coworking spaces. On my most recent trip, I opted for a coworking space in Sydney. It worked out great – not only did my work not suffer because of inadequate conditions, I also didn’t feel guilty about going sightseeing afterwards because all the work was done.

Use the power of technology

Technology is your friend – always, but never more so than when you’re away. Whatever you do, chances are you have collaborators. A system like Google Drive is indispensable for situations when you’re away. A good organizer and a voice recorder will help keep you on top of your tasks, even when it’s too much of a hassle to open your computer. As far as the traveling aspect is concerned, it might be a good idea to get a smart padlock for your case. This nifty little gadget protects your belongings, and can be unlocked using an app on your phone. Believe it or not, there are even apps that can calculate how jet-lagged you should expect to be, and help you minimize the impact.

Don’t forget to explore your surroundings

Business travelers, especially frequent fliers, get pretty disillusioned with the concept of business trips. They work for the better part of the day, perhaps have a drink at the hotel bar, sleep and repeat until it’s time to go back home. In fact, with just a bit of planning, you can actually squeeze in quite a bit of fun in too. Explore the area around your hotel, and save the routes from the hotel to the sites you would like to visit. Apps like Moovit can help you find your way around the city using public transport. I have to admit, I would have been pretty disappointed if, on that trip to Sydney, I missed the Opera House and Bondi Beach.

It’s not impossible to work and travel, and enjoy both. A well-organized trip can become the perfect mix of business and pleasure, and you will be able to come home replenished, enthusiastic and full of impressions, instead of exhausted.

About Victoria Lawes

Victoria Lawes is a Digital Marketing Strategist. She works with driven, creative, and passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners that want to bring their visions to life. Enthusiastic writer who follows latest marketing and technology trends to get a glimpse of the future. You can follow her on Twitter@LawesVictoria

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