Working away on business? Here are 5 ways to productively spend your time

Our jobs take up a large part of our lives – precisely 91,250 hours on average over a lifetime, so you need to be in a career that excites you and offers progression. Some jobs offer the opportunity to work abroad and travel regularly.

On the one hand, this a perk because it allows you to see the world whilst doing a job you love. On the other hand, travelling with work starts off as a novelty, but after a while can soon become a chore: spending time away from family, friends and focusing primarily on work can often become lonely and sometimes draining. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to maintain positive and stay productive both work and social wise.

As Stephen Hawking famously said: “Work gives meaning and purpose and life is empty without it” – but take this with a pinch of salt.

Here at Cotels we’ve collated a few ways you can productively spend your time if you are away on business:

Organise your time away in advance

Before you physically arrive in the country you’re staying in, do a little research and find out where you’re staying, what’s nearby and if your place of work is within walking distance to your hotel.

Once you know this information, it’ll make life 100 times easier. Then you can start mapping out where you will have meetings, conferences and chats over coffee with new acquaintances while networking.

Alongside this – dependant on how long you’re in the country for – decide on a few places you would like to visit. A balance between work and play is healthy and will make your long trip seem more worthwhile.

Take time to reflect on your accomplishments and record your goals

To be sure you’re progressing and moving on up, you must first set clear goals that are achievable over a certain amount of time. If you haven’t set goals, working abroad will give you time to understand what you want to achieve, but if you have already written your goals, be sure to record the highlights and tick them off your list.

Even some of the busiest and most successful among us continue to set their own goals. Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of Tesla and SpaceX, who apparently has a 100-hour working week, believes you should always assume you can better yourself and improve – this is important to remember in every aspect of life.

When travelling, always fly wi-fi enabled

This is a trick that helps you work smarter. Arranging all of your meetings, networking events, conferences and catching up on your inbox prior to landing is an easy way of spending your time once you’ve touched down in the country.

There are now a variety of airlines that enable in-flight wi-fi, such as; British Airways, Emirates and also Qatar. So if you’re currently booking your flights for your next business venture, be sure to go with one of them.

Network while you’re away

Working in a different country allows time for you to mingle and network with a number of professionals within your field. Be sure to connect with them via Twitter and LinkedIn to see if they’re available to meet up and discuss industry ongoings and potential business ideas.

Mixing work with socialising can often lead to the best and most successful business plans, so be sure to let people know you’re visiting.

Remember to take time to yourself

After you’ve done all of the above and well and truly conquered your visit, arrange some down time just to yourself. You’ve most likely been socialising and talking about work for the past couple of days, so factor in some time to truly “switch off”.

How about visiting a nearby spa or exploring the local culture and cuisine?

Next time you’re away on business in a new country, be sure to plan, network and also wind down. This way you’ll feel your time away was spent wisely and productively. It helps if you can get your hands on a “home away from home” apartment to make your trip feel as routine as possible – why not try out a luxury serviced apartment?