Even in the age of the internet, when it’s possible to connect with anyone from anywhere, there’s something about being face-to-face that makes a big difference. Whether you’re a small business owner, salesperson, investor, or executive for a major corporation, some job positions require you to spend a lot of time on the road.
Knowing how to stay safe and productive while on the move is paramount to your success.
Helpful Tips for the Road Warrior
In this article, we’ll be focusing on people who spend time traveling via car (rather than jet-setters who bounce around from airport to airport). If you would classify yourself as a road warrior – or even if you spend just a few days on the road per year – you’ll find the following practical tips helpful.
1. Don’t Get Distracted
While American roadways have become much safer over the years, drivers face a growing and deadly problem: distracted driving. With all of the technology drivers now have at their fingertips – including navigation systems, XM radio, and smartphones – the actual process of driving is often viewed as an afterthought.
The biggest conundrum you likely face is how to safely use your phone while driving. And while it’s not the answer you want to hear, you shouldn’t be using it at all. According to Gruber Law Offices, your risk of being involved in a crash increases by 400 percent every time you drive and talk on your cell phone. (Not to mention texting.)
If you absolutely have to talk on your phone or send out a quick text, pull over. It’s not worth risking your life over.
2. Be Organized and Prepared
As a road warrior, your resources and mental capacities are already strained. You can’t afford to be disorganized or unprepared. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Whether you’re in a coffee shop, your hotel room, or in a random parking lot on the side of the road, you need safe internet access at all times. You have a couple of options here. You can buy an unlimited data plan for your phone and use this as a mobile hotspot when you need service, or you can purchase an actual WiFi hotspot device and purchase a plan for it.
- If you use your computer a lot while sitting in an idle car, get a lap desk. Not only does it improve your ergonomics, but it also keeps your laptop and legs cool.
- Invest in preventative maintenance on your vehicle. The last thing you want is for your car to break down on the side of the road and need extensive repairs.
- Keep a mobile filing station in your car so that you can keep documents and notes organized until you get back to the office.
3. Ditch the Fast Food
When you get hungry on the road, it’s hard to resist the temptation of fast food. And while there’s nothing wrong with occasionally grabbing a healthy option from a fast food joint, you don’t want to do it often.
The best piece of advice is to keep a small cooler in your vehicle. If you ever find yourself near a grocery store, stop in and grab some healthy items and a small bag of ice. A good cooler will keep these items cold for hours (or even days).
4. Make Time to Relax
According to the MMGY Portrait of Business Travelers study, the vast majority of road warriors crave time for rest and relaxation. They also want time to enjoy local experiences when visiting new places. Sound familiar?
Make it a point to integrate some downtime into your schedule whenever possible. Use this time to visit a museum, try a local restaurant, or take a nap in a park. Not only will you feel less stressed, but you’ll also find your travels to be exponentially more enjoyable.
Don’t Lose Focus
It’s easy to lose focus when you’re constantly on the road, but do your best to block out the distractions and zero in on what really matters. At the end of the day, you have no choice but to be safe and productive. A failure to realize these objectives will compromise your career (or worse).
Stay dialed in!