Whether you're a serial procrastinator or a black belt in OCD, everyone with a job requiring travel feels the pressure to reach Jedi status while on the go. Whether we're tasked with meeting and impressing a VIP or aiming to land a new client, we need all the "force" we can get.
Most of us lack the endless knowledge of C-3PO and must rely on solid preparation and an organised checklist to ensure nothing is missed. Too frequently, the dark side of the force ruins a well-laid tactical plan. When that happens, you can prevail over the Evil Empire with these Jedi-approved productivity tips for road warriors.
"Do, or Do Not. There Is No Try"
While travelling, don't spend hours of your valuable time struggling to get a low quality free Wi-Fi connection in crowded cafes or airport lounges. An Ethernet cable or extra Thunderbolt adaptor may help at the hotel, but sometimes you must pay for a good connection. My preferred option is a portable router for creating a personal hotspot. So don't count on others for a necessary Wi-Fi connection, ensure that you will have one regardless.
"Judge Me By My Size, Do You?"
Think a solar-powered charger isn't going to do much for you? You'll think again when the cafe is full and no outlets are available. I use the XD Design Solar Window Charger and stick it right onto the aeroplane window. Investing in the Apple World Traveller Adaptor Kit was a good decision for me and will be for you too, if you do any international travelling for work. It's as good as having Obi Wan at your beck and call.
"Your Eyes Can Deceive You. Don't Trust Them"
What needs to be seen isn't always as obvious as a light sabre in hand. Carrying everything electronically will not only make your carry-on lightweight, but add efficiency when working on the go. Also, in 2014, there is absolutely no excuse for not having back-up whether it's cloud storage or a zip file. Take the time to back up all work, making sure important files are available offline. I store mine in the cloud, either Dropbox or Google Drive. If you haven't already, add your email to phone or tablet.
Bonus Tip: Take advantage of the large modern TV in your hotel room. Your HDMI cable will hook up to it.
"Twilight Is Upon Me, and Soon Night Must Fall. That Is the Way of Things"
Eventually sleep deprivation requires you to give in. But this time, don't fight it. Know when it's time to walk away from all electronics and get some shut eye . All good Jedi need rest for optimum performance — even the Yodas. Do your best to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night and a power nap mid-day if you're lucky enough to squeeze that in. It will make a world of difference, you'll be shocked.
Bonus Tip: I always put my sleep mix on Spotify before jetting off to dreamland. When travelling across three or more time zones, jet lag can be a problem. If possible, give yourself several hours prior to meeting for nothing but rest. If you must power through a workday when it should be your night, take a break and wash your face and hands in cold water. You'll feel refreshed and ready to go again.
"Aren't You a Little Short for a Stormtrooper?"
Appearances matter in the business world. While height doesn't make a difference, your clothing will. We've all heard the expression, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Your hotel should have a guest laundry and will be handy for keeping things fresh. You can wash and iron yourself or have it sent out, often on the same day.
Bonus Tip: When possible, choose wrinkle free clothing for your business wardrobe.
"The Force Is Strong with This One"
Some days we wake up ready to take on the galaxy and other days we'd rather crawl back under the covers and pretend the sun didn't rise. But a great Jedi powers through. Make sure that you're prepared and that others around you can sense your readiness and confidence. Hopefully by now you've made it to elite status (AKA you're getting points for flying). This is the fast track for free hotel upgrades and free flights.
Bonus Tip: Even a Jedi needs a little help from time to time so the hotel concierge should be your best friend. It's often through letting the concierge know what your needs are that you get a free room upgrade or some extra consideration which helps the overall success of your trip.
Anna brings a unique sense of randomness into everyday work from stories about jellyfish and her favourite new Atlanta brewery to new DIY projects she did over the weekend. When the super cape comes off, Anna is a freelance writer and digital media marketer, and mum to Norman Larry, the basset hound. She also loves peanut butter. Say hi to her on Twitter @annaleacrowe or Google+.