Whether you’re hitting the road by car or flying away, avoid the stress that can come with holiday travel and leaving work behind. Plan ahead of time using the following tips to possibly create some business systems.

1. Let deadlines and priorities dictate.

Don’t let a game like rock, paper, scissors make you choose what gets done before you leave for a trip. Decide what’s most important to complete before you head out.

Before traveling, I treat my work a bit like triage. It forces me to choose what absolutely needs to get done before I go. Let the urgency meter weigh in on the decision for selecting what to complete first.

Sometimes I work while traveling and for short periods during the actual trip. I plan what I will do in advance since some places will be noisier than others. It helps to jot down some tasks I can do so I can still be productive in random settings. Deadlines are vital to helping decide what is the highest priority at the time. Sometimes I just sit down and look at what needs to get done and what can wait. 

2. Put things on autopilot.

Going away can informally impose a deadline to kick start implementing systems in your business. Maybe you’ve been meaning to set up a recurring billing system but haven’t gotten around to it. It can be the perfect time to do so.

It’s something that will not only help to avoid a one-time backlog of work when you return like sending a bunch of invoices. It can also can make your cash flow more predictable and cut back on late or missed payments while saving you time and money.

3. Use technology to your advantage whenever possible.

They’re such an array of apps you can use to make travel more bearable, it’s easy to forget what to actually use when the time comes. This is especially true if the app isn’t used often enough to give it prime real estate on your smartphone screen.

I label any travel-related app under “travel” on my phone’s folders or store this type of information in Asana to make sure I use later. I  capture ideas for websites or any other helpful tips to use for the trip when the time comes. There are tools like Evernote, ToDoist, (even ToDoist for Business) that could allow you to find stored information when needed. I also use Asana to stay organized and manage client work. It’s easily accessible.

Act as early as possible to line up something like a ride or parking spot when it comes time to travel. I like to reserve things like that as soon as possible. While it’s great to call on a ride from Uber or Lyft  in certain situations, sometimes driving to an airport requires me to leave my vehicle there.

Luckily, an app like Parkmobile now has an airport reservation option. You can feel like a VIP when you get a parking space reserved for you in advance. You don’t have to worry about missing your flight because you couldn’t find a place to park. It’s one less hurdle you have to endure to make traveling easier during travel.

The Bottom Line

No matter when you choose to travel, you can be more strategic with your time so your business doesn’t have to suffer while you’re away. A little planning and effort can go a long way to sustain your business and maybe even improve some processes before you go. 

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Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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