Awesome Organizational Tools for Staying on Task On the Go
Business travel has a unique way of trying to throw people off track. Between potential delays and distractions seemingly everywhere, it takes a fair amount of discipline to keep yourself organized and on track. The great news is that you don’t have to go at it alone. There are several tried and true tools and methods that successful people utilize to maintain laser-like focus.
It’s All About Lists
Whether you choose a post-it note, paper journal, cloud-based web app, or a mobile device, lists are imperative. Think about a simple trip to the supermarket. You can either meander up and down every aisle tossing things into your cart on a whim — or show up with a structured list that serves as the ingredient list of your weekly meal plan. There’s no doubt that the tactic involving a list will get you closer to your nutrition goals.
Traveling for work is no different. From packing before you leave to listing the things you want to accomplish for both business and pleasure, a list keeps you targeted. A few of my favorite list tools:
– Moleskin journal: I’m still a paper and pen person. And still get bizarrely satisfied when I cross out a task that has been accomplished. These streamlined pads travel light and look great.
– Wunderlist: Creating to-do lists is a cinch; even better is collaborating on lists with your family members or teams. Why pack alone when you can get feedback from coworkers or friends who have been to your destination.
– Todoist: With its Pinterestesque look, you can set reminders and deadlines to keep you on track. Clean and simple.
Keeping your desk at home clutter-free is a task in itself, and we’re willing to bet you’d be embarrassed if we saw what your hotel-room office space looks like mid-stay. A clean desk used to be associated with a lack of work, however, almost every study ever conducted proves that a messy workspace can be a severe impediment to your ability to get stuff done. To keep a clean desk at home and on the road be sure to:
– Keep it about work: Keep items that are unrelated to your work away from your hotel desk and workspace. That includes last night’s room service tray, a stray sock, or any other odds and ends.
– Schedule cleanup: You might not make your bed when you are away on business, but you should make it a point to tidy up your work area every morning. Waiting for housekeeping can cost you valuable (and productive) hours.
Most of us know what we should eat, and that’s hard enough to stick with at home. So people who travel for business understand that a perfect storm exists for poor eating choices. You won’t always be able to forgo the last-minute calorically-crazed meal, but with a little bit of planning, you will find discipline a bit easier to enact.
– Keep snacks on-hand. Control what you can control by traveling with several snacks, ensuring that you will have a suitable snack during travel delays or when that meeting goes into overtime. This is also a Godsend for people who need to regulate their blood sugar for medical or mood reasons.
– Research in advance. Have a plan of where you will eat and when. Call me an exploratory buzzkill, but knowing where your next meal is coming from will save you time, stress and fend off any “hangry” episodes. Not to mention, it will allow you to make better choices more often.
There are plenty of other ways to stay organized as well. I’m a huge fan of the Grid-It organization system. This “rubberized woven elastic object retention system for gadget organization” is killer, allowing you travel with all sorts of devices and cords and giving them a concealed home base.
It’s also worth Googling “Packing Cubes” or “travel bag insert.” These soft-shell organizers help compliment your carry-on or luggage by giving you a place to stash bits and pieces by category.
Etsy is a great place for unique travel accessories that can help keep you organized. From curated traveling kits to homemade utility belts, there’s something for everyone.
Last but not least is probably my favorite piece of advice for staying on task. It’s a practice that can apply to many areas of life: thought stopping. This technique has you stop dead in your tracks when you feel your mind wandering. Simply think “STOP!” and return your focus to the where you originally wanted it to be. You’ll be amazed at how effective this simple practice can be.