How do I stay organized and keep up with work while traveling?
Always invest in duplicates of important items to keep in your travel bag. All traveling executives have experienced the sinking feeling that hits the moment they realize they don't have their phone charger, hairbrush or vitamins they take almost every day. It's especially worth having a second set of power chargers for your tech devices because they may not be easy to acquire on the road. By leaving these duplicates in your travel bag all the time, you'll never have to worry about forgetting something, and you'll save time by avoiding having to unplug your office setup before every trip.
Sometimes avoid traveling during the busiest times of day. For example, in New York City, taxi drivers change shifts between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., so getting a cab to a meeting that's scheduled for mid-afternoon can be difficult. The same goes for traveling to and from the airport (or anywhere) during rush hour in any big city. Even if you're driving yourself, you could end up wasting time waiting in traffic.
Never skip practicing with the tools you'll need on the road before you travel. Too many times, I've seen people struggling to figure out how something works under pressure (their web-based email program, some collaboration software, a new piece of tech gear). Don't wait. Before you need to rely on it for real and while help is still available, practice making a video, working collaboratively on a small project or accessing information when you're away from the office. This will reduce your stress when it's time to perform.
Tips courtesy of Jason W. Womack, who advises business leaders worldwide on productivity and workplace performance. Contact him at www.womackcompany.com.
Read more about time management/productivity in CIO's Time Management/Productivity Drilldown.