One of the annoying things about leaving the office on a business trip is the lost productivity. All the time spent actually traveling is spent doing anything but the work you’re supposed to do. So how can you stay productive when you travel? How do you avoid work piling up when you’re gone?

According to an article in Entrepreneur, 1.3 million business trips occur daily in the US alone. And while most would agree that travel has its perks—a new city, change of scenery, expensed meals, rewards programs—there are those who find it stressful and with that come productivity slumps.

Here are a few ways you can avoid that productivity slump.

1. Leverage the Right Tools

Business travel can often mean lost productivity.Tracy Komlos, founder of Pangea Dreams, loves her collaborative tools like G-Suite to help Komlos stay organized and connected with her team while on the road.

Apps like HubDoc are great for travel expenses and receipts and Streak is invaluable for scheduling and emails. Want more apps? Check out GoodNote which allows you to travel with your digital briefcase, leaving paperwork behind. Komlos also uses a productivity planner to help her accountability and provides a productivity score of the day.

2. Outsource What You Can

Komlos suggests outsourcing help when you can. You delegate at work, so why not at home? Hiring contractors or virtual assistants is one way she outsources the work she needs to have done to run her business. If you’re worried about what’s not going on at home, you’re not being productive, you’re being preoccupied.

3. Take Advantage of Down Time

Turn downtime into “do” time and tackle low-energy tasks such as reading, answering emails, or editing photos. Not only will you have completed tasks, you will also have some energy left over to handle bigger, more involved tasks. Using this time to update social media will just increase stress when your to-do list looms.

4. Keep Detailed To Do Lists

Prepare ahead of time so travel will go as smoothly as possible. Rather than be frantic with chores and errands cluttering your mind, make a list. Tackle it daily and from top priority to bottom. Not only will these tasks be accomplished, but you’ll also feel in control and relaxed. Use an app like Todoist or Wunderlist, which works on different devices and platforms, and keeps your lists synchronized.

5. Mind Your Health

Unhealthy eating and overdoing the alcohol can make you tired, so try avoiding buffet lines. Stick as close as you can to your usual eating habits. That sluggishness you get from overindulging can also wreak havoc on your sense of discipline.

And don’t forget to work out. Do you normally work out in the morning? Do it on the road too. Get it done first thing. The longer you wait, the easier it becomes to blow it off completely. So if the hotel gym isn’t up to your standards, go for a walk and explore. It’s free cardio and the fresh air will help you clear a few cobwebs out of your mind and your eyes off screens.

The most important part of staying productive while traveling for work is managing your schedule by planning ahead and staying disciplined. Outsource the stuff you don’t need to do yourself, or don’t have time for. Find time management and to do schedules and apps that work for you, and hold yourself accountable to them.

How do you stay productive when you travel? What sorts of tricks do you do? Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.

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