You may find yourself getting more work done while you're out of town thanks to no distractions, no kids' bedtimes to negotiate and no commute. A business trip is a great time to finish that report or make those phone calls on your list. Here are four pointers to turn your productivity level on the next time you're out of town.
1. Skip in-flight movies; tackle your reading pile instead. Garrett Miller, CEO of productivity training company CoTria, says he gets all his reading done when he flies. It's all about the preparation. "I receive trade journals all month long and cut out articles and place them in a 'to be read file,'" he explains. "When I book the train or plane ticket I do so with reading in mind."
And yes, he brings along some fun reading and uses it as a reward after he plows through his reading pile.
2. Save phone calls for your car rides. Miller recommends activating your Bluetooth and making your calls in the car to and from the airport. "If this is an important call and decisions are being made, ask those on the other end to take notes and send you the highlights of the call," he says.
3. Think outside the box, or rather, stay outside one. Have you ever been stuck in a lifeless hotel room – just you at an uncomfortable, poorly lit desk, your room service tray and laptop into the wee hours of the night? Meanwhile, your colleague is in another room doing the same exact thing. You can easily fix that by booking reservations at a comfortable accommodation that promotes collaboration and feels more like a residential sanctuary than an isolated hotel room.
Phillip Tumminia, general manager of Wyndham Vacation Rentals in Charleston Islands, S.C., says choosing the right environment can bolster team-building. "The comfortable setting of a home with all of its amenities presents an opportunity to foster and develop collaborative relationships," he says.
For instance, at a rental home full of amenities, he says colleagues can boost their relationships outside a boardroom, even when it's as simple as cooking dinner in a kitchen.
4. Achieve work-life balance by focusing on your life, not work.The happy worker is the productive worker, right? If you've ever done less and achieved more, then you'll appreciate the importance of logging off. By making the most of your airplane, train and car time and choosing the right environment, your productivity rate skyrockets. Think of it this way – productivity increases while you're plugged in because you're happier when you're unplugged (as in truly logged off).
Vicki Salemi is the author of Big Career in the Big City and creator, producer and host of Score That Job. This New York City-based career expert and public speaker possesses more than 15 years of corporate experience in recruiting and human resources. She coaches college grads individually with an intense Job Search Boot Camp, writes and edits the MediaJobsDaily blog on Mediabistro, and conducts interviews as a freelance journalist with celebrities and notable names. BlogHer named her one of the country's top 25 career and business women bloggers worth reading.