This article is by life coach and productivity specialist – Lorraine Pirih, some good tips on getting the most from life on the road
Despite the fact that everyone sighs “How glamorous!”, the life of the business traveller can actually be hell! Fighting international datelines, jetlag, airline food, hotel pillows filled with rocks, and the constant packing can turn an efficient, organised corporate commando into a bumbling mess.
The situation can be similar for those whose car has to occasionally transform into a mobile office. The Road Warrior is a special breed: always on the move, always doin’ it hard. (Although other people in your organisation may think you’re doing it easy, always out of the office having a great time.)
And yet the wise and experienced business traveller will, through trial and error, have developed a system to smooth the path. Hopefully. If you haven’t, I offer this advice which will easily work for you.regardless of how your current organisation skills are.
It’s easy when you know how. Those who travel regularly for business can make life easier with a series of checklists. Make a comprehensive list of the items you know you’ll always need, have it typed up and photocopied, and each time you head off, use it to facilitate the packing.
Your basic list will include toiletries, underdaks, travel clock, clothing, spare shirts & ties, PJ’s, fitness gear, etc. Check things off as you chuck them into the suitcase, and before you zip it up, throw the list itself in as well. It will prove to be invaluable when it comes home time – a double check mechanism to ensure that nothing is left behind.
The checklist system still applies. List all the documents you will need to take, your Filofax, spare stationery and pens, stack of business cards, plus the essential hardware: Palm Pilot, Laptop, mobile phone, etc. Print the list and keep it handy, ticking items off as you pack them.
If you plan to work on the aircraft, put the appropriate documents or reading material in your briefcase rather than the suitcase, for easy on-board access.
It could be useful packing a series of folders marked To Read, Action on Return, To File, etc. If these are packed into your briefcase, it will simplify the organisation of paperwork generated on the trip. Of course, every business traveller carries an Expenses/Receipts envelope, right? Organisation is easy isn’t it…when you know how.
The Road Warrior
This is the perfect opportunity to embrace the philosophy of the University on Wheels: plug in a CD or motivational tape and learn as you drive.
If you add a portable cooler in summer and stock it with fresh fruit and healthy drinks, you’ll arrive in tip top shape, full of energy to go get ‘em!
Keep essential files – logbooks etc. close so that you have fast and easy access should the mobile ring when you are rolling along. You may find that filing crates or archive boxes will keep your paperwork contained and easy to find. Divide your supplies into logical categories: one box for presentation aids and literature, another for personal items, and a third for files and documents. In such a small space, it is essential to have a place for everything, and everything in its place.
Your Road Checklist will detail items such as: personal supplies including toiletries, moist towelettes, nibbles, water, change of clothes, sunnies, Aussie cossie, insect repellent, suntan lotion, umbrella and winter woollies (especially if you are driving around the state of Victoria, Australia).
On the Move…
It’s a hard life, being constantly on the move, but the application of practical prompts and memory aids, such as the aforementioned checklists, will help you avoid the reinvention of the wheel each time you head off to parts unknown. The more you pre-plan, the smoother the trip, and the more satisfying the results – all with less stress. Now, doesn’t that sound great?
This is an excerpt from Lorraine’s bestselling book “Get Organised-Get a LIFE! available from www.office-organiser.com.au
About The Author
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia’s Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including “How to Survive and Thrive at Work!”
To subscribe to her free ezine visit http://www.office-organiser.com.au
Hope it’s useful