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How to Maximize Time Away on a Business Trip

It's hard to find time to sit down and manage your goals and take time to address ongoing projects, but you can do all this and more in the most unlikely of places, on a business trip.
Y. Cathy Hung, DDS, DIP. ABOMS
PUBLISHED: Friday, August 16, 2019
lifestyle time management free time business trip away

Managing your goals and busy life doesn't have to be put on hold when you go away for a business trip. 


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 take some shut eye and rest while you’re away, it may be the healthiest thing you could do for yourself.  We all need to unwind! 
 
Upon arriving a new town, touring and perhaps venturing into a new restaurant can be therapeutic at the end of a business conference.  Business lunches and dinners help to extend your network and broaden your horizons. Aside from the “main goals” of the business trips, there are multiple different ways we can 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 pre-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 you wish to connect with.  I find this quiet one hour extremely productive without distraction. 
 
Or, call your mother or your best friend just to say hello. Catching up is also 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 safe environment, such as your hotel room, and have a connection that you know is secure.

Coordinating an ongoing project

I was in the midst 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 for installation.  Utilize the business center in the hotel to print your documents. Download apps on your phone that have scanning capabilities.  My Tiny Scanner app on my iPhone has saved me hours of time scanning and e-mailing documents right from my phone, in turn, allowing me to get projects done without missing a beat.

Monthly, quarterly, or yearly planning

Time away allows me to clear my head to refocus on my short term and long-term goals. Each person should employ a system that works for them 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.  Ten to twenty 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 time line. So, find the system that work for you and utilize the down time away from your hectic home life to plan out these goals and assess where you stand with them.
 

Reading, writing, and listening to audiobooks or podcast

If you also love to read, the time spent on the airplane 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 podcast, the waiting time in 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 to utilize your time away from the office. Take advantage of the time difference when scheduling for phone calls so that you could be the most efficient while away.
 
For more lifestyle insight, read on here!


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