How to stay organized when you’re traveling or sick.
Today's topic is how to stay organized even though you travel.
At my office I'm a marvel of organization and efficiency, a well oiled machine. But when I travel, chaos ensues. Email piles up in my inbox, notes pile up, I fall behind on my podcasts, and my anchor, waking up at 6 am, gets mangled and spat out like so much mulch. So the question is how do you keep things on track when traveling?
Funny you should ask... Just last week, I was cruelly and unexpectedly taken out by a norovirus that left me unable to work for four days. The little biology-enforced vacation was wonderful!
Let’s start with your sleep schedule. It’s the anchor of your schedule. And sadly, I don’t know any magical remedies for lack of sleep. You can lose sleep because of travel schedules, meeting schedules once you arrive, jet lag, or being kidnapped by malevolent clowns. I’ve tried everything to keep my sleep cycle on track: self-hypnosis, acupressure, and Melatonin, the amino acid which is supposed to reset your body's internal clock. Different things work at different times, or maybe it's just the placebo effect (click here for my Quick Tip on getting sleep while traveling). That's when your belief in a fake treatment gives you the same effects as the real treatment would give. I keep believing I'll spontaneously develop a square jaw and striking Mediterranean features... apparently, the placebo effect doesn't extend to plastic surgery.
Build Slack Into Your Schedule
Your daily routine at the office gives time to do your filing and sorting. If you’re traveling, set aside daily time to do your on-the-road filing. You make time to brush your teeth while traveling, you can do the same for keeping up on email. And if you don’t brush your teeth while traveling, it might explain why your friends send so much email rather than traveling with you. Brush and floss, daily.
You can get through your daily routine more quickly with some help. I always travel with a folder for tossing in all my daily receipts, notes, and to-do items. Before bed, I sort them out and update my to-do list. The receipts get bundled and sent to my bookkeeper at the end of the trip.