Print Maps Before Traveling

 When you have an important meeting, don't leave your navigation skills to chance (and electronics). 

Stever Robbins
2-minute read

Print Maps Before Traveling

Maps! I just love maps! They let me plan out where I’m going so my trips can resemble the deliberate journey of a true go-getter, rather than the pathetic meanderings of a clueless slacker (not that I don’t enjoy a good slack or two).

These days, I’ve come to rely on my iPhone Maps app to find my way around on foot or by public transportation. When driving, my GPS gives me step-by-step instructions. There’s no thought needed at all….until it’s 5 minutes before my appointment with a prospective CEO coaching client and I discover that a trick of geography knocks out both my data connection and my GPS when I’m within a mile of company headquarters. Not good!

It may be a throwback to the 20th century, but when you have an important appointment, it’s a good idea to print the map of your destination and its surrounding area beforehand. Even better, keep one of those old fashioned maps of the metropolitan area in your car. Before you set out to an important meeting, review the map. Think it through. Know the rough directions so you aren’t dependent on $1 trillion worth of technology to get to your destination.

You can print maps using Google Maps, or you can use the AAA.com TripTik generator. I really like TripTiks because they give you maps of every major nexus in the route you’re taking.

When you use a GPS, you don’t commit a route to memory. Gradually, your ability to make mental maps decreases, your hippocampus shrinks, and you turn into a vegetable. Really. Studies show that GPS use erodes certain kinds of mental functioning. (Don’t believe me? See studies here and here.)

When you take the time to use a map and coordinate your attention, you’ll not only be protected against electronic snafus, but you’ll also teach your brain not to need maps in the future. You’ll also impress the heck out of the person you’re meeting with your unerringly accurate navigation skills.

GPS and Map from Shutterstock

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.