As I begin prepping for my second business trip of the month, I’m thinking about the presentation I heard at PRSA Counselors Academy during my first business trip of the month. Attendees at this conference are owners and managers of PR agencies. I’ve mentioned before that this is my favorite professional development conference of the year. Typically, the presentations are about being a better business owner, recruitment/retention, new business best practices, leadership, etc. When I saw the title of the opening keynote, Hack the Mobile Lifestyle: Travel Smart to Work Well and Play More!®, I thought maybe the description got mixed up with another one of PRSA’s conferences.
No, this was a session geared perfectly for everyone in the room – PR agency owners who are also business travelers, road warriors, and busy professionals who spend at least part of their month living out of a suitcase.
Marcey Rader, herself a road-weary business executive now productivity and health coach and author, shared tips and tricks for staying healthy and focused while traveling. Many of which caused most of us in the room to think to ourselves “well duh.” But we could all use the reminder every now again.
For most of us, business travel is an excuse to skip our regular routine – maybe we decide not to work out in the morning or perhaps because we’re away from home, we decide that dessert every night is a good idea. In other words, acting like you are on vacation.
Our eating behaviors are one of the first to get pushed aside when we travel, primarily out of HABIT. Think about the reasons why we eat. We are Hungry, Anxious, Bored, Irritated or Tired (HABIT) – which happens quite frequently when we travel. And since we’re out of our element, the vending machine or the drive-thru might be our go-to in these circumstances.
Her suggestion – always pack “hangry snacks” like nuts or dried fruit. Take advantage of the various grocery store delivery options. Book a hotel room that has a small kitchen and have groceries delivered. You’ll make smarter choices and probably save some money, too.
Our sleep patterns are often off-kilter when we travel. Whether because we are up later than normal, are sleeping in a less-than-comfortable bed in a room that is either too hot or too cold, and never dark enough or just the anxiety of being on the road, sleep is definitely impacted while traveling. Marcey’s tips include investing in a comfortable set of ear plugs and an eye mask, a little lavender oil on the pillow and try to stay off the devices right before bed.
And of course, a health coach wouldn’t be a health coach if she didn’t also address exercise. Or as she simply refers to it – movement. You might not get to the hotel gym or feel comfortable taking a run in a strange neighborhood, but there are several things you can still do while on the road. How about lunges or wall sits when brushing your teeth? If you are driving, when you stop at a red light, do a few neck stretches. Consider “walking meetings” rather than sitting in a conference room. And there are lots of apps available with quick workout routines that are perfect for in between meetings.
So for the other business travelers out there, what are some of your tips for staying on track when you’re on the road?