Nurturing Relationships on the Road and Back Home
Real talk; travel is hard. Not only is it grueling on your body, your inner time clock and your schedule, it affects your relationships both at work and at home. When we arrive at a destination we are bombarded with new meetings, projects and hotel time that all distracts from our normal routine. Making time to take care of your “normal” life while you are on the road is difficult. How on earth do you stay connected and not treat each trip like vacation?
No. 1 – Connecting with your family
No one likes to be away from home. Sure, it’s fun for the first few times or even the first year, but eventually, the struggle to stay connected becomes real. Phone time might be the only quality time you have with your loved ones while you are on the road. Make sure to be present and allocate a specific time to make sure they’re needs are met as much as yours. Texting while traveling should be considered mini commitments and positive affirmations to your spouse or children that you acknowledge their needs as much as you are taking care of your own.
No. 2 – Being responsible to your colleagues
Just because you are not in the office doesn’t excuse you from answering email or solving problems as they arise. But the struggle to make all of your work commitments align with your travel schedule is real. Don’t be afraid of it, instead make a plan. Allocate specific time on every trip that you are going to devote to dealing with the office, whether that is problem solving, answering questions or handling HR issues. The most important part of your plan here is to communicate it to your team so they are aware of the best time to reach you and you align everyone’s priorities with the fact that you have to travel.
No. 3 – Create opportunities afar
Relationships don’t just exist back at the office; they are also often times made on the road as well. Meeting new clients or even colleagues in other offices provides opportunities to nurture new avenues for business or promotion. Make sure to schedule time on your trip for these activities as well. You never know where the next client or idea is going to come from and by ignoring the adventure and seeking portions of your travels you shut yourself off from these potential opportunities.
The honesty about travel is that it is a lot harder than it looks and wears you out more than you will ever know. To start with, family and the connection and sense of belonging it brings is like fuel. It recharges you, excites you, drives you, and makes you better. By ensuring that you are plugging in on a regular basis you can continue to move forward. And secondly, your colleagues are counting on you. They want your advice, your weigh in, and your valuable time. By holding yourself accountable to both elements of your “normal” life while you are on the road you will be able to recharge, reevaluate, and reach new heights of productivity.