Are you a business traveler and spend all your time working because you are constantly catching up?
Do you sacrifice sleep responding to one last email and end up jacking and crashing on caffeine and sugar your entire trip?
Traveling for business can be hard on your body and your soul if you let it.
I traveled 40-45 weeks a year for about eight years and then at least every couple of weeks for another four years. I worked all day at site visits, then worked in the hotel to catch up on what I didn’t get in my inbox that day, worked on the plane, in the airport, and then again at home. I never felt like I had the capacity to get everything done that was handed to me.
I felt guilty if I did anything fun on a trip, took a walk in a new city, or had a nice dinner. I felt like I was on company time 24/7 and I should be working.
I stayed up late, disrupting my circadian rhythm by looking at my computer screen. I learned to drink coffee, even worse, with syrups and sugar in it and drank Diet Mountain Dew once a day.
When I matured as a traveler, I realized that the telepressure was somewhat self-inflicted. I felt the need to respond urgently, so I did. I taught people that I worked continuously and they got used to me always being available.
How did I fix it?
I created office hours, no matter where I was and made myself have a transition between work and hotel and then travel and home. I still worked a lot but batched my tasks so that if I were somewhere cool to walk, like South Beach, I didn’t work in the evenings, but if I was in Scranton, PA two days later, I did (no offense Scranton, you just aren’t that walkable). I started eating one meal a day without working. It was hard, but I did it. Just me and a restaurant or in my room, but not with the laptop open.
I also started having a bed time. Because I always got up early to work out, sometimes as early as 4am, I mega-sacrificed sleep. I started leaving events or functions with teams early if I could so that I could be at my best the next day. I found that when I left early, often someone else would say they were glad they weren’t the only one and leave too.
I started cutting back the pumps, one at a time, until it was just coffee and cream and then limited to 16 oz per day. As for the DMD? Never again. Cold turkey from all artificial sweeteners after seeing the documentary Sweet Misery.
One of my clients, LJ Allen, is a Senior Clinical Research Associate with two boys at home and a daughter and grandson. She is a single mom and wanted to be excellent at her job, present at home and back to her drop-dead-gorgeous days before she didn’t feel good in her body.
Working with Marcey has been a life changing experience for me. Her coaching sessions consistently provided fresh opportunities to discern the true nature of my life situation. Marcey’s coaching provides a gentle but effective accountability mechanism to keep me on the path that I have chosen. In just a few months, I saw my stress level drop and my overall personal and professional life satisfaction grow by leaps and bounds. Most importantly though, Marcey has me headed in a direction that is actually giving me control.
I am embarking on a new journey, and I am so excited! Instead of a mid-life unraveling, I feel like a door has been opened to the most exciting part of my life!!! – LJ Allen
Are you a business traveler or know someone who is?
Join me, along with special guests, on a complimentary, live, public webinar Working Well and Playing More While Traveling for Business on August 1 from 12-12:30 EST
I’ll be sharing three key behaviors to travel for business without sacrificing health and productivity.