Do you need to travel internationally for work? Whether this is your first overseas business trip or you have thousands of frequent flyer miles, international business travel can be rewarding in a number of ways. After all, you are able to explore a foreign place, learn about a different culture, and have many unique, new experiences. That being said, traveling is often not conducive to productivity, and when you still have your other day-to-day tasks to complete on top of client meetings and conferences, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get things done. That being said, there are ways to be productive when you’re overseas if you’re strategic about it. In this blog, we will go over the best ways to be productive while you’re traveling abroad.
Keep Everything in Your Cloud
If you are the type of person who prefers to work on paper, it’s time to change your ways. Shuffling papers around and trying to keep file folders organized while you are on the road is just asking for something to get lost. Plus, you don’t need all that bulk when you’re constantly on the go. Now is the time to go paperless. Make sure you have an electronic copy of everything you need and keep it in a cloud so you can access it from any device. This way, if your laptop dies, you can easily access the information you need from your smartphone. It may take some time to adjust, but it’s worth the effort.
Work on Menial Tasks in Transit
If you’re on the road, you want to be able to get work done, but that can be challenging on a small airplane or busy commuter train. Instead of trying to do something that requires brain power, focus on menial tasks that you can easily do wherever you are. This could simply mean organizing your documents into folders or deleting emails that you don’t need anymore. Choose tasks that you never seem to get around to at the office but will help you stay organized, both at home and on the road. This way, you are being productive without requiring your full concentration.
Locate a Coworking Space
Are you struggling to stay focused in your hotel room? This is often a problem for international travelers who would rather take the time to relax and watch TV or go out and explore. Oftentimes, it’s helpful to create an environment that promotes working, such as in a coworking space or coffee shop. Most big cities have somewhere traveling professionals can gather in a workspace. Having others around you who are also working naturally lends itself to productivity, plus this gives you a networking opportunity that you would not have otherwise had.
Make a Routine
When you are traveling to new locations all the time for work, it can be difficult to establish a routine, but routine can be a powerful force for productivity. If your brain is used to working at the same time every day, it becomes conditioned to get into that particular mode at that time of day. It’s a good idea to set specific rituals in place to help you get into that productive mindspace. Wake up early, get a workout in, eat breakfast, then get started working. This way, when the afternoon rolls around, you have more flexibility to go explore without worrying about your deadlines if you’ve gotten all your work done in the morning.
Buy Quality Headphones
If you have to set up shop in a communal space, your noise-cancelling headphones will be your best friend. It’s easy to get distracted in a coffee shop where people are chattering, the espresso machine is hissing, and the music is blasting. When you have your own noise-cancelling headphones, however, you can enter your own little world as you work. Tune out the distractions by investing in a high-quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Added bonus: these will be very helpful when you’re on the plane trying to sleep, as we covered in a previous blog.
Be Considerate of Your Contacts Back Home
It’s easy to forget that you are essentially in a completely different world from your colleagues and clients back home, so be considerate about the time zone differences you are working with. Try to be as flexible as possible, but also be honest when you aren’t going to be able to connect for whatever reason. Being proactive about these situations will go a long way. Keep track of time zones when you are contacting someone. It’s easy to forget when it is 4 p.m. where you are that is 3 a.m. where your client lives, and that is not when they want to receive a call from you. Before you make contact with anyone back home, make sure to check what time it is where they are so you don’t disturb them outside of normal working hours.
This is also important for dates as well. For example, if you are on the other side of the world, you may want to log on on Saturday mornings when it will be Friday afternoon at your office back home if this was the time when you would prepare your to-do list for the following week. Try tailoring your work schedule to line up with dates when you will actually be able to contact people back home, rather than waiting a whole weekend to hear back about a project.
Invest in an International WiFi Device
Trying to find a public WiFi network to work from can often be a challenge, and even when you do find one, it isn’t necessarily going to be reliable. On top of that, these unsecured networks are a danger to your important data, as hackers can use this connection to steal your vulnerable information. If you are going to be working abroad, its best to invest in an international WiFi device of your own. At Sapphire, we are proud to offer the most reliable portable WiFi for your next business trip. Our innovative MiFi device works in more than 100 countries by finding the best connection to provide you with 4G everywhere you go. Shop with us today!