Finding and establishing work-life balance is hard enough to maintain when juggling between home and your office. Well, guess what? It can get even more complicated when traveling for business. Here are five tips to boost work-life balance when away from home.
1. Prioritize and set clear goals
If you take a step back and look at what’s on your to-do list regarding this business trip, how many things ACTUALLY have to be done? What are the goals of this trip, what do you want or need to get out of it? Once you set your goals, you will have a clearer vision of what what is essential and what isn’t. Prioritizing will help you to focus more on what matters. Your business trip will not only be more successful but you also won’t have to go out of your way to get what you want on top of business. Your mind will be clearer.
2. Unplug when the time comes
Technology has undeniably helped our lives in many ways. It has also created expectations of constant accessibility from colleagues and managers as well as from your friends and family. The work day never seems to end and your time off is overstepped by questions, emails and other short deadlines. Work-life balance helps you create boundaries so your quality time is actually for yourself. If you have clearly prioritized the goals of your trip, settled what you want to get out of it, and communicated this effectively, then your personal time shouldn’t be neglected or taken for granted. That’s even more important when traveling far in a place in a different timezone. No, you do not “have to” get up at 3am to help your team. Your rest is also important to perform well and preserve your health! Stop responding to constant sollicitations and unwind.
3. Change the structure of your business trip
By reapproaching the structure of your business trip, you are more likely to actually get something out of it professionally as well as personally. Turning your business trip into a bleisure trip allows you to gain focus on the challenges and goals of the business-oriented aspects of the trip. A Monday morning meeting in Copenhagen? Leave on Friday and make the most of the weekend. A Thursday evening conference in Dallas? Take off your Friday and enjoy more than 24 hours in a city you have never been to. By taking time for yourself on a business trip, you’ll significantly reduce your stress level, mitigate the effects of jet lag, and increase your performance and productivity.
4. Exercise and get moving
It’s amazing what we actually have time for when we decide to really take that time. Yes, it's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule especially on a business trip where time is gold (and money!), but it may help you get more done. Did you know exercise will boost your energy level and ability to concentrate as well as help you be more efficient? Exercise is a key component of worklife balance. Not only will you feel feel more relaxed for having taken time for yourself, but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment. Getting something done (a workout, for example) first thing in the morning or before going to bed will help you be more confident in your decisions and will reflect positively in your business style.
5. Get to know the city you are in
You probably have been on one of those business trips where you don’t get to visit anything of the city and actually end up going home super frustrated. All those hours sitting on the plane only to see a meeting room and hotel lobby, not a single monument or landmark. Your emotional health takes a toll. It might not seem like much but a walk goes a long way. Indeed, you can make the most of an hour of free time or even half a day of bleisure time. You don’t have to stay for the weekend to bleisure. Just walk around to get a feel for the city and explore! The simple act of wandering will not only clear your mind but will also turn your business trip into a real travel experience, giving you a look at what a city has to offer.
Work-life balance is available to everyone who wants more from its work life and business trips. Contrary to popular belief, thinking about your well-being on a business trip can enhance your professional skills and performance! So on your next business trip, think about all of those tips and how you can implement them in your own way.