This post originally appeared on Best Western’s YouMustBeTrippin.com’s blog, where I regularly contribute stories. I was compensated for this post but the opinions are mine.
I don’t have a doctorate in productivity, but I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I love maximizing productivity. Maybe I’m productive because I work with the mindset of a startup, or maybe it’s because I like to take on more work than I should. Whatever the case may be, I like to maximize my time whenever possible, so when I take a business trip, I often bring my family with, to make it into a last minute vacation. While I love having my family along for the ride, I still need to get a fair amount of work in. So how do I find that balance?
Here are 6 ways I stay productive when traveling with my family:
1. Work hard, but in moderation. Don’t cause resentment about your work with your family, and do it moderately and clandestinely whenever possible. When I’m on vacation, no matter how busy I am, I try to get some work in, but always in moderation. That means that even if I’m going crazy with work, as I often am with Hispanicize, I will work no more than three to four hours each day.
2. Schedule the challenging work for bedtime. When you have four young kids like I do, it’s extra challenging to get your hard reading and writing done while they’re around. My kids, though I love them, are simply too noisy or fussy to concentrate. What I like to do is to schedule most of my serious, heavy lifting work for when my kids and my wife are asleep so I don’t take time away from them and I can truly concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Send your family to the pool or go to the lobby. When I stay at Best Western hotels, I sometimes schedule alone time to work in the hotel lobby or I will ask my wife to take the kids to the pool (hey, it’s always free!).
4. Let your spouse drive. I almost feel guilty admitting this, but I am so grateful my wife enjoys driving on road trips because she enables me to take my laptop and get work done. Over the course of our nearly 10 years together, I’ve probably conducted months of work typing right next to her as we cruise down the freeway to our next destination.
5. Use your cell phone: No matter how much work you may have, mobile phones are great for sifting through emails and doing any required reading. I have so much email piling up daily, that sometimes I can spend hours sifting through my work emails on my phone. The best part: you don’t have to lug around a laptop or tablet and can easily switch from personal to business as you sort and chat!
6. Turn YouTube on and learn! I am a voracious learner, so when I don’t have emails to see or computers to type on, I am known to get on YouTube and watch mini tutorials about productivity software or apps that I’m interested in.
Having read this you may be more convinced than ever that I am a major workaholic. I’m not convinced that’s true, but I’ll never deny that it gives me great satisfaction being productive and I love to share the wealth. If you want to read more about my business traveling tips and juggling work and family life, take a look at some of my previous posts:
— 7 Tips to Balance Your Work and Personal Life
— How to Make Business Travel Feel Like Leisure Travel
— How to Make the Most of a Family “Workcation”