How to Schedule Meetings When Traveling

Traveling out of town? Avoid endless back-and-forth scheduling.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #486

Factor in Travel Time

This is a schedule tidy enough for Mary Poppins at her most OCD. But as tidy as it all looks, Breakfast at Windsor Place and a mid-morning meeting in Warsaw isn’t feasible, thanks to transportation time. Sadly, auto companies are still refusing to release the patent for the instant teleportation machine that was invented in the 1950s using information obtained from UFOs in the U.S. Government’s Project Blue Book. So Europa may need to shift things around, and use her mid-morning time slot to take a supersonic helicopter from between meetings.

Collect, Then Schedule

Trying to sort all this out by having a dozen individual back-and-forth conversations would be impossible. The quickest way to sort it out is to collect everyone’s free time and figure out who can go in which block.

Using a template makes scheduling a full day easy.

Europa sends a quick note to all of her associates, asking them to tell her which time blocks are free. Then she goes to her grid and fills in the schedule with times that work for everyone. By having everything in one place, she can shuffle around appointments as needed to find the combinations that work for everyone. Once she's finalized the schedule, she writes everyone back telling them when she can meet. Sure, the Queen pushes back a little, but...this is Europa we're talking about. When she says "Jump," the Queen listens.

By centralizing the decision-making as much as possible, all the possible combinations of meetings and travel and travel time are available for her to use to fit everything into her schedule and still make it back to the hotel in time for her bubble bath. 

Whether you’re intimidating world leaders, or just checking on the status of your far-flung spy network, keeping your travel productive means making the best possible use of your time. Create a daily template and use it to schedule your meetings. Make sure to allow for travel time, and when possible, collect everyone else’s free time and put your schedule together using all that knowledge to come up with the best possible plan. 

I’m Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. Want great keynote speeches on productivity, Living an Extraordinary Life, or entrepreneurship? Hire me! Find me at http://SteverRobbins.com


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.