Your routine as a business traveler is as important as nailing that meeting pitch. With the arid flights full of germs and the time-zone hopping – sometimes even internationally! – it can be easy to feel less than your best when you travel for work. But, by sticking to a routine when traveling, you’re more likely to operate as your prepped and polished self.
In fact, those who follow a routine can improve stress levels, sleep better and are often healthier. Plus, routine has even been shown to improve overall mental health. We’ll sign up for that every day, especially as a business traveler!
So, how do you stay on top of your routine with so many disruptions? We’ve rounded up five ways to keep your routine. Start working these into your travel routine, and you’ll be pitch perfect come 5 a.m. wakeup call or 11 p.m. flight.
Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan
Avoid any last-minute feelings of panic that you forgot your sunglasses or didn’t pack your medicine. Nothing can eat into sleep time or gym time like running around town for missing essentials. I Want Her Job reader and frequent business traveler, Lisa, always has a suitcase packed. “I would always forget my contact case, and I was always arriving somewhere only to search my iPhone for the closest CVS,” she says. “My travel suitcase always has a charger, pajamas, its own toiletry bag and even jeans!”
Her tip? Simply restock when your suitcase gets low, and make sure to put items back in right after laundering, so you don’t forget! If you don’t travel enough to warrant an extra suitcase, consider creating a travel list in Evernote of things you never want to forget. Include photographs of your ideal toiletry bag or beauty items that need to go in a TSA-friendly clear plastic bag. You also can keep list, like this checklist from Day Designer to stay organized.
Be An H20 Pro
When a business dinner kicks off and the waiter comes around to take your drink order, consider pausing before ordering that glass of chardonnay. We know. That’s the last thing you want to do when you have a client dinner and everyone is drinking, but hear us out.
Your body can continue to absorb alcohol even while you sleep. And depending on how much (and what) you drink, the next day you can feel tired, thirsty or nauseous. Your head could throb and feel dizzy. And, you might be shaky and irritable with a decreased ability to concentrate. We’re not saying you don’t celebrate a successful meeting, award or new business, but save the champagne for the day after your big work events. This way you’ll stay sharp and you’ll feel ready to take on the day.
Hustle For The Muscle
Regular exercise is good for keeping strong bones and muscles. It also increases your energy levels, wards off chronic disease and even helps your memory! And important for your routine as a business traveler, exercise can keep your stress at bay and boost your overall performance.
But what happens if your plane gets grounded, rerouted or cancelled? Pack a resistance band in your carry on. And in case you’re wondering if those are allowed, yes, as of publication, they really are!
You can also bring your resistance bands in your hotel room and watch your favorite fitness videos using the free Wi-Fi at any Best Western Hotels & Resorts location. And after? Take a nice long shower after your sweat session in your hotel room.
Let’s talk about a part of your routine you never want to miss. Whether you’re reading your child a goodnight story or telling your partner about your day at the office, most of us don’t want to be absent from our routines with our loved ones. Enter FaceTime or another favorite, Skype, and connecting with your loved ones is easy.
And if time zones can keep you apart, we have an idea for that too! “When I worked in a global job … I couldn’t take my son everywhere with me, but I made him a part of it. If I traveled somewhere – even if there was a time difference – I would always get my son to call me in the morning to wake me up. I would pretend that he woke me up, even though I was usually awake and working, but he didn’t know that. So, he felt really proud that he was calling me every morning to wake me up,” former Leading Lady Helen says.
The Routine Queen
Whether it’s rocking a sheath dress like Michelle Obama or writing down what we are grateful for in a gratitude journal like Oprah, our habits can help us click into a mode where we don’t have to stress out our brains as much. Why? Tissue deep in our brain controls things we don’t actively think about – like breathing or swallowing. When you follow a routine, like driving to work each day, this part of the brain serves as your habit center.
In short, go ahead and watch that rerun of The Golden Girls before bed. Work in your morning sun salutations. And, spend that extra 10 minutes on your nighttime K-beauty routine. Give yourself a hard-earned break after a long day of business travel. Your brain will thank you.
We all tend to be habits of routine. And the less disruption we can bring to our routine when we travel, the better! One of the things we like to do at I Want Her Job is stay at hotels where we know what to expect and that have features we look forward to. Our favorite hotel chain is Best Western. And they’ve made our stays there even better as small business owners.
With their Best Western Business Advantage program, small business owners receive perks like special discounted rates and 10% more bonus points! You should join us and sign up today.