I love to travel. And I love to travel for business.
Last fall, my job took me to 11 different cities over the course of about 8 weeks. I loved nearly every minute of it. And now that there’s word of a similar project ramping up – I can’t wait to once again be let out of the starting gate.
Here (in no particular order) is what I love about business travel:
1) Clean Hotel Rooms
Whenever possible I stay at a Hampton Inn. They have that whole “faux homey” thing down pat – the free cookies and/or popcorn at night is just icing on the cake. The great thing about traveling is that everything is clean (clean sheets, clean bathrooms, clean rooms) all without any effort on my part.
2) No Worries About Shopping for Groceries
Eating at restaurants has its advantages. When you travel you don’t have to worry on your drive home if you have enough milk or ketchup or bread or noodles to make whatever it is you’re planning for dinner. You show up at the restaurant, look at the menu and the rest is taken care of for you. The same is true of all of the other household items like paper towels, dish detergent and toilet paper.
3) New Stimuli
Airport bookstores, in-flight magazines, out-of-town newspapers, new shopping centers/malls and restaurants, finding my way around a strange town – all of these things help keep the neural pathways open and stimulated. Nothing boosts my creativity quite like going out of town for a trip.
4) New People
Restaurants, security lines, hotels, clients, etc. are all full of new people. As George Clooney said in Up in the Air: “Isolated? I’m surrounded!”. If I’m so inclined I can always find someone worthwhile to talk to when I’m on the road.
5) It Forces You to Focus on the More Important Things
This is all about the power of less. You learn to get done what absolutely needs to be done during the short times that you’re home. If it’s not important, it won’t make it to your to-do list. You learn to appreciate the limits of time even more when you have even less of it from week to week.
6) It Forces You to Live and Work More Virtually
This includes delegating. This is strongly related to #5. You learn to take on less when you know you can’t be there to get it done. So you’re left relying heavily on delegating most things out. I’m rarely more productive than I am when I have to delegate out all of the important stuff and reduce my own role in how things get done. I’m at my best when I’m forced into the position of being the person to allocate resources and effort, while managing everything via e-mail, text and phone calls. My sole job at that point is to remove any hurdles my team runs into.