I’m writing this blog post while on a high-speed train with a poor WIFI connection. I’m travelling between Rome and Florence. This is one of my favourite perks of being an entrepreneur, location independence. The freedom of being location independent does have its advantages. I would like to point out that managing a business and travel isn’t all tiptoeing through daisies. I’ve done my fair share of four-day weekends, longer two-week and month long trips. I’m not saying this to brag. I’m sharing this so that you understand I’ve have had quite a bit of experience and I’ve made many mistakes. So, how do I manage my business and travel without loosing my mind in the process?
I would also like to point out these tips are what works for me. There are no hard and fast rules, so try a few things, tweak them and make them work for you. Remember, it’s okay to do things your way. So, here are my top 5 tips to manage a business and travel without losing your mind in the process.
Tips for One Month or Longer Trips
Before I share the tips, I would just like to point out that these tips are for managing work around shorter trips. These tips can be appropriate for a longer one month trip. Managing a business and travel for this length of time will need a lot of planning. If you’re travelling for a month and don’t have time to plan ahead. Don’t panic, you can still make travelling easier. You could consider working in the morning and sightseeing in the afternoon or evening. Another possibility is, working during the day and sightseeing in the evenings for the first two weeks. Then, reserve the second half of your trip for sightseeing. This is what I did when I got to go with Roland on his work trip to the USA.
1. Do as much work as possible before the trip
I realise this tip sounds like a lot of work. If you want to enjoy your holiday destination and spend less time in your hotel room, then creating content in advance is important. Creating your content in advance helps you to be more prepared for the unexpected. It also helps you deal with moments of procrastination. You can’t put something off that’s already created and ready to go. This blog post is the perfect example of what I am trying to illustrate. I didn’t finish this on my trip to Italy. I kept putting it off until I missed the deadline for my blog, and repeat this the following week. All this drama would have been avoided if I had scheduled this before I left, just like my other content.
The truth is, it’s okay for me to want to spend time in the Roman forum and in the Colosseum instead of writing a blog post. Travelling can be exhausting, especially if you’ve been walking around Rome for 8 hours. Creating content in advance will help you manage the drama and exhaustion that comes with travelling. There’s a lot more to running a business than content creation. If it’s a big part of your marketing strategy then getting it done in advanced will leave more time. You can devote this time to the other parts of your business that can not be scheduled in advance.
2. Have a backup plan in case your hotel WIFI connection is horrible
When you book a hotel pay attention the reviews and what people say about the WIFI connectivity. Some boutique style hotels tend to have a standard ADSL connection. This means if someone is watching YouTube or Netflix all night they will hog the bandwidth leaving dial up speed for everyone else. In the event of this occurring, the last thing you want to be doing is googling internet cafes in Rome. Instead of being at the mercy of your Hotel’s WIFI connection you might want to test the connectivity in other parts of the hotel. I would also recommend finding a few quite internet cafes in your hotel’s area. I usually end up working in the hotel foyer.
On my recent trip to Italy, I had to reschedule a client session because of my hotel’s poor WIFI connection. I couldn’t find a suitable alternative with minimal background noise. It’s important to communicate your travel plans with your clients before you go away. Communicate what you plan to do in the event of a lack of connectivity and your backup plan failing. It’s not ideal to re-schedule a session but if you can’t find an alternative venue you need to be prepared. I’ve only had to do this on one occasion. It was super frustrating but my client expected this. It turned out that re-scheduling was convenient for my client as well.
3. Create a daily to-do list
This tip has probably come at no surprise to you. Every morning, I create a list of things that I need to do in business for that day. On this list are usually things that cannot be scheduled in advanced. My to-do list usually contains sharing content, editing my quick tip videos, and sharing images on Instagram. If I don’t create this list, things tend to slip my mind and I’m usually rushing to get things done just before I go to bed. This is why I encourage you to do the same.
4. Set aside time to work
The easiest way to make sure you, do those admin tasks, prepare for sessions, and be visible online is to set aside time in advance. I usually set aside an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. The reason for this is I like to be visible online at least twice a day as a minimum. Once you decide when you will be working and for how long, focus on the tasks on your to-do list and ignore everything else. So, pop in some earplugs or listen to some music to help you focus. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Turn off those notifications on your phone and stop googling or scrolling through Instagram or Facebook.
5. Be self-aware
I made a decision when I first started, that I wouldn’t take on new clients or offer discovery calls when I’m on trips less than two weeks. The reason for this is doing a discovery call is different from coaching an existing client. I don’t want the added stress of WIFI issues to distract me from getting into the correct mindset before a call. My decision is based on self-awareness, and my desire to turn up as my best self. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on when you take on a new client. When you are doing it all without the services of a virtual assistant the work can be a lot to manage. It’s important to consider where you are at in your business, and when you’re travelling. I wouldn’t recommend travelling when you’re at a time in your business that will add stress. An example of this would be, in the middle of the creation of a new programme or service. It’s partly to do with the loss of momentum but the choice is up to you. Only you understand what you can handle, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.
When you balance a business and travel make sure you have fun but still get things done. The secret is self-awareness and knowing your personal limitations in regards to what you can handle. These tips will help you return less stressed and manage your workload. As a result of balancing your business and travel, you will avoid returning from your holiday overwhelmed by the work you need to get done. Being an entrepreneur and balancing a business and travel has been the only time I’ve returned from a holiday with less drama and stress. This is partly to do with the flexibility that entrepreneurship brings.
As always I have an important question for you. How do you balance travel and business? Do you have any tips you would love to share? I want to hear from you. Let me know my sharing in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing with such enthusiasm.
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