How to Maximize Time Away on a Business Trip
Coordinate an ongoing project. I was once in the middle of upgrading my office phone system while away on a business trip. There was a lot of paperwork that needed to be signed and returned, as well as follow-up phone calls to schedule the installation. Utilize the business center in the hotel to print your documents. Download apps on your phone that have scanning capabilities. The Tiny Scanner app on my iPhone has saved me hours of time scanning and emailing documents right from my phone, in turn allowing me to get projects done without missing a beat. Do some monthly, quarterly, or yearly planning. Time away allows me to clear my head and refocus on my short-term and long- term goals. Each person should implement a system to keep track of personal and professional goals. I personally prefer the traditional notebook planner. I find this to be the best way for me to keep track of my goals for the rest of the year. About 10–20 minutes spent on my personal planner allows me to gain clarity and refocus on my next steps for the months ahead. I have a personal knack for traditional planners because, as I look back to the previous months in my own writing, I see how many goals I have achieved within that timeline. So, find the system that works for you and utilize the downtime away from your hectic home life to plan out these goals and assess where you stand with them. Read, write, and listen to audiobooks or podcasts. If you also love to read, an airplane ride is excellent reading time in my opinion. I prefer reading business books, especially if the topics are relevant to that particular business trip. If you have a preference for audiobooks or podcasts, the waiting time at the airport is also a perfect time to be plugged in (but don’t miss your flight!). As I am sitting in the boarding area writing this article, I hope that these little tips will help you utilize your time away from the office. Take advantage of the time difference when scheduling for phone calls so that you can be the most efficient while away.
Do you wish you had more hours in the day? Time away from the office as a business owner is common and expected. First, I want to say that if you choose to get some shut-eye and rest while you’re away, it may be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. We all need to unwind! Upon arriving in a new town, touring and perhaps venturing into a new restaurant can be therapeutic once the business conference is over. Business lunches and dinners help to extend your network and broaden your horizons. Aside from the main goals of business trips, there are many different ways to utilize time to tie loose ends. Schedule short business phone calls. I take car services to the airport. During this one-hour drive, I like to schedule short phone calls with different business contacts. This could be a new vendor you are trying to establish a relationship with or a colleague with whom you wish to connect. I find this quiet hour extremely productive and without distraction.
Alternatively, call your mother or your best friend just to say hello. Catching up is good for you too.
Pay bills. This is also a great time to take care of business or personal finances. Be sure you are in an isolated and secure environment, such as your hotel room, and that you have a connection that you know is secure.
–Y. Cathy Hung, DDS, Dip. ABOMS Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Founder, Morning Glory Women Dentists Network of New Jersey
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