The rhythm of business travel

photo-408This fall I’m traveling more than usual to talk about I Know How She Does It and time management in general. Work travel adds a degree of complexity into family life, but the good news is that since I work for myself, I have control over when and how I do it. Some events are on certain days, but I can always decline an invitation. Or sometimes people are flexible on when the event can occur, and ask me what would work with my schedule.

So I’ve been trying to figure out the rhythm that works best, both for my family and for making progress on other projects.

What I’m currently doing is more of a 2-week (336-hour!) cycle. One week I will do a lot of travel. The next week, I will only do local-ish events. I schedule phone calls and write various articles that are due for the travel week during the non-travel week. Obviously, it is quite possible to take phone calls from hotel rooms and write articles on photo-409planes and trains and I need to get better at this. However, I find it adds to my travel stress if I’m worried about whether I’m in a quiet place with good cell reception. On non-travel weeks I run more and do more mom stuff like taking kids to sports practices. I deal with various household administration tasks.

I find this rhythm allows me to feel like my life is still fairly calm. During travel weeks I invest more in the work side of the equation, and during non-travel weeks I invest more in the life side. Over the long haul it comes out fine.

How do you structure your work travel? Do you try to have heavy weeks and light weeks, or even it out?

In other words: This is a local week, and I’m speaking to the Philly and Central NJ chapters of Ellevate on Thursday night in Newtown, PA. You can get tickets to the event here (you don’t have to be a Ellevate member to attend). I’d love to meet some blog readers in person!

Photos: Fall color, spotted while out for a trail run (1) and the diagram of kid activities (2) for the week I was mostly gone.

3 thoughts on “The rhythm of business travel

  1. I work full time for an education company, most of my role is office based but I do need to travel to other offices. I try to make this more manageable by offering to travel every other fortnight and then in the week between, having a day working from home. This gives me a chance to catch up, to do more detailed/involved work and to catch up on the washing as well! I also say no to some meetings, let my team go instead of me (good development opportunity) or suggest we meet at my office instead of elsewhere – varying rates of success but all worth a try. I don’t travel on Tuesday’s at all as I collect the boys from school that day.

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