Pursuing good career opportunities is very healthy, but oftentimes, we bite off more than we can chew and we push ourselves beyond what is good for our wellbeing.
Many of us are real experts when it comes to sleep, food, and relaxation deprivation. We think everything we are missing out on will wait for us when we retire. Well, it won’t!
All business people, especially business travelers, need to learn how to achieve a healthy work-life balance to stay healthy, sane, and ambitious. Here is how to achieve that seemingly impossible goal:
1. Open communication channels
Being away from your partner, kids and friends can be stressful, so you need to focus on maintaining contact. Staying in touch with your loved ones, especially kids, is very important since it allows you to keep some sort of normalcy in your life.
Luckily, today we have plenty of technology at arm’s reach, so you can always stay connected. Think services like Skype, Google Meet, Zoom, or FaceTime where you can hear and see familiar people with practically zero cost.
If you have kids, try to read to them, have dinner together or play games via video calls.
2. Create a routine for work-life balance
Maintaining a routine when you are on the road is hard, but it is the best way to achieve some sort of work-life balance.
If you get up at seven at home, have breakfast, and do some yoga, continue to do so during your business trip. Make time in your schedule for relaxation, meditation, or reading—whatever you find grounds you and makes you feel “at home”.
Resist the temptation to overschedule your trip, because between work, networking events, and meetings, you won’t have a lot of time to unwind. Create a flexible routine and try to stick to it for your wellbeing.
3. Choose your priorities
If you chose to go on work trips, you probably did so to earn some extra money or chase a good promotion. While going after your career dreams is a great thing, it can seriously disrupt your life.
So before saying yes to every trip your boss offers, think about what you are leaving behind. If your next trip means you’ll miss your kid’s birthday or your buddy’s engagement party?
When choosing your priorities, use this trick: ask yourself whether your decision will leave consequences, and will it matter in five minutes, five days, five months, and five years. Decisions that leave the biggest impact should be your priority.
4. Include your family into your planning
It is important to make sure that your family also agrees with your priorities. When making business trip decisions, ensure your spouse and your kids feel considered.
See what they think is the best time to take a business trip and how long you can stay. Also, consult them on all the ways you can stay in touch and how you can make it easier for them while you are gone.
Your partner might need a few days of rest and your kids might need a few days on one-on-one time before you leave.
5. Rent a car
If you commute while you are at home, having an opportunity to do so while you are on a business trip will help you a lot when it comes to your daily routine. And don’t think that finding a car once you land has to be a pain in the neck.
International business hubs like New Zealand have a well-developed car rental service network so you can get to a vehicle very fast. For example, if you need a car rental in Queenstown, you can even pick up your car right at the airport and avoid all the public transport and city hassle.
Having a car will also allow you to explore your destination, reach fun and relaxing spots, and enjoy more freedom during your business trip.
6. Choose the right accommodation
If you often stay in hotels during your work trips, skip regular accommodation, and opt for serviced apartments. These provide you with all the comfort of a hotel, but also have extra amenities and a home-like atmosphere you might be missing.
More space, more comfort, all business travel essentials, better safety and privacy, in-house facilities, and lower costs all make these apartments perfect for business travelers looking to improve their work-life balance.
7. Make most out of your home time
Many business travelers don’t follow this tip even though it seems like common sense. Once you finish your trip and return home, make sure to make the most of your time with your family and friends, and live in the moment.
Have some things you enjoy? Set time aside to do them! Play with kids, go out with friends, eat your favorite home-cooked meals, relax in your little reading nook, whatever makes you feel balanced and healthy.
Also, do your best to help your family while they have you at home, so fix that car, call repairmen, and ensure your loved ones are set up well before you take your next trip.
8. Have a few things that remind you of home
Many business travelers notice that their scales of work-life balance are strongly swayed toward life on the road.
However, if you can’t be at home, you can at least bring home along with you. Bring something that reminds you of every family member (a picture, a piece of jewelry, a toy) and it will keep your heart and mind in the right place and help you frame your headspace.
9. Take leave after your trip
Taking some time off work after your trip will do wonders for you and your family. It will help you recalibrate, allow you to spend time with loved ones, and rest your body and mind.
Though, no matter how much you miss your family, set some time for yourself as well. Resting your head and body from work will help you stay healthy physically and mentally.
Working on the road sounds fun, but you will soon start to miss the stability and comfort of home. But with these practical tips, you can achieve a healthy work-life balance that will allow you to pursue your career and still have your family life in check.
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Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. Loves everything about home decor, art history, and baking. She shares a home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.