Optimizing business travel. Part 1.

Welcome to the first in an ongoing series on The Maven, in which we delve deep into the world of travel and arm you with efficiency hacks meant to make your trips (whether for business or pleasure) more enjoyable experiences. First up: the managing productivity in the face of impending travel.

Business travel is one of those necessary evils--we always have places to be, but hate the time (and productivity) vortex travel days often seem to create. Between the time lost in flight away from your team/office, the jetlag, and the effort spent preparing for your travel day, it’s no wonder many come to dread the time lost up in the clouds. However, with a bit of careful management of your expectations and time, you may be surprised to discover that travel days don’t have to be such a headache.

Design a generic travel list.

  • The Why: creating packing efficiency will save you time, spare you the anxiety of forgetting something essential, and will help you get a better night’s sleep with peace of mind. 

  • One of the best ways to proactively quell travel anxiety is to design your personal travel list. This is not meant to be a list of absolutely everything you’ll need on your trip but simply the bare essentials, those items that you couldn’t simply purchase once you get there in case you forget to slip them into your suitcaseThink medications, contacts/glasses, technology and their corresponding chargers, etc. 

      Proactively Conquer Jetlag.

      • The why: Preparing your body for the effects of jetlag will mean you can hit the ground running at the start of your trip, adding productive hours to your first day post-travel and saving you the (literal) headache. There are a number of small ways to prepare your body and mind for the effects of jetlag. For more detailed tips, visit [https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/jet-lag-and-sleep]

      • Start adjusting early. Use the last few days before a big travel day to start gradually adjusting your bedtime earlier or later to prepare your body for the time change.

      • Avoid eating/drinking stimulants, such as caffeine and chocolate, and exercising within a few hours of bedtime to help you relax.

      • Arrange a flight that will land early evening, then stay up until at least 10pm local time. If you need to recharge when you land, keep your rest to a quick 30-minute catnap to avoid spending your first day stuck in a fatigue-induced fog.