Surviving crazy travel schedules for work.…

As a busi­ness­men and entre­pre­neur life can be real­ly busy. Who has not felt the need for a few extra hours each day to achieve all they set out to do?

Some­times we do not have a choice. In my life I had many occa­sions which, on paper, look too insane to do, and yet, I sur­vived and thrived on them. I want­ed to share with you one of these sto­ries. This is about a week long trip in which saw me sleep 3 nights on a plane and vis­it 5 coun­tries in 6 days.

One impor­tant thing to note is that your audi­ence, your clients, the peo­ple you trav­el to meet, they do not care how tired you are, how you feel. They expect a show and will be sat­is­fied with noth­ing else. When we look at this from their point of view it is obvi­ous. We all want that. Ulti­mate­ly, if I want to make a sale, if I want the sat­is­fac­tion of my clients and cus­tomers, they are right: I need to be extra­or­di­nary every time. 

So here is how I man­aged to sur­vive for over a decade doing the cra­zi­est glob­al trav­el sched­ule you can imagine

* Eat light and drink light, I avoid all alco­hol and meats, but that is my choice, always keep have some water to main­tain your hydra­tion through he end­less cycles in air conditioning. 

* Become effi­cient with the sit­u­a­tion: when you need to be giv­ing your max­i­mum use all your ener­gy, when you have a moment to rest, rest deeply. Some­times you may have issues with your bio­log­i­cal clock, don’t be angry or fight it, instead if your body real­ly does not want to sleep, use the time you have pro­duc­tive­ly, the next day you will reach a new lev­el of exhaus­tion which will over­ride even the most stub­born clocks. 

* BREATHE: oxy­gen is the fuel of your body. Pay atten­tion if your breath­ing is shal­low and quick or deep and slow. From a very gen­er­al­ist per­spec­tive, a slow­er breath­ing will increase your con­cen­tra­tion, help you to man­age your emo­tions and your stress. 

* Move your body. Even if you have 5 min­utes, move your body a lit­tle. Try to give your spinal col­umn and its mus­cles some atten­tion. Bend your body for­wards and back­wards, from side to side and twist your back. If you can do this you shall be able to man­age your any resid­ual pres­sure and stress and main­tain your­self awake and active. Even bet­ter, do the Tech­niques of the DeRose Method!

* Remem­ber that you are the vis­i­tor and peo­ple who are graced with your pres­ence have and expec­ta­tion, if you are tired it is sure­ly not their fault and there­fore, push for a few more moments and the rest is just around the corner. 

* Do what you love. If you want to main­tain this rhythm and work with some­thing that you are not pas­sion­ate about, you will sure­ly burn out. 


Now many peo­ple may be won­der­ing what a crazy glob­al trav­el sched­ule looks like. Below i describe a typ­i­cal trip I used to do while work­ing at my glob­al role…

At the time of this trip I had recent­ly moved to New York City and part of my team was in Lon­don and I had not seen then for 3 months, so we decid­ed that it would be a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet them on this trip. The trip start­ed on Sun­day night as I flew down to Colom­bia to train the South Amer­i­can offices on the method­ol­o­gy i was respon­si­ble for. This was an intense 8 hour train­ing ses­sion in which I would take a group of 20 to 50 co-work­ers through he math­e­mat­ics, the oper­a­tions, the analy­sis, the pre­sen­ta­tion and the due dili­gence of all the prod­ucts of my divi­sion. I arrived in Bogotá ear­ly on Mon­day and I went straight to the hotel where the con­fer­ence was held, so I could get a quick bite to eat before my ses­sion would start. Prompt­ly at 9am we began and we would not wrap up the day until 6pm. 

That was my cue to leave for the air­port for I had meet­ing with clients in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tues­day. So I took the red eye flight to São Paulo and arriv­ing very late at night I was in my hotel by 2am. The next morn­ing I was being picked up at 7am local time to meet up with the local Brazil­ian team, to review the report and then go into an all day work­shop with the client. This part was inter­est­ing, for I was going to be in charge of pre­sent­ing part of the data in the morn­ing and mod­er­at­ing the work­shop in the after­noon. After we were all done I was exhaust­ed, but I need­ed to get ready for a 6am flight out of Brazil and into Istan­bul via Frankfurt. 

Unfor­tu­nate­ly time zones work against peo­ple trav­el­ing from the Amer­i­c­as and so my very ear­ly flight meant I was going to trav­el all day and reach Istan­bul only late Wednes­day. At 7pm I was land­ing and by 9pm local time I was at the hotel get­ting ready to sleep. Only to my body that was only 2 or 3 pm at my home, the time­zone which my bio­log­i­cal clock remained stub­born­ly at. 

The next day I had a lec­ture to give at one of Istanbul’s top busi­ness uni­ver­si­ty, Bahce­se­hir Uni­ver­si­ty. It was a con­gress and attend­ing were some 300 peo­ple and my talk was meant to be a key attrac­tion to the audi­ence and open­ing the day. So prompt­ly at 3am New York City, 9am local time, I was on stage and start­ed my hour long talk. For the rest of the day I had to sit at the high table with oth­er speak­ers, answer­ing ques­tions and giv­ing insights about the talks I was watch­ing, some­times in Turkish!

At the end of the day, around 8pm local time, I was back at the air­port mak­ing my way to Lon­don to spend the fol­low­ing day with the team I had let behind. We had an intense and full work day and got a lot of things done. We fin­ished the day around 6pm local time and went to din­ner to cel­e­brate being togeth­er and my safe return home. The next morn­ing I was at London’s Heathrow to get back to NYC

The result of the trip was real­ly good. Peo­ple were trained, con­tacts were made, the rep­u­ta­tion and image were devel­oped and new busi­ness ensued. But the most impor­tant part? Well, I kept my san­i­ty dur­ing this high demand periods!