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Reprinted with permission from Tyme Management (tm)

Make the Most of Business Trips
(C) 2000, Rutherford Publishing, Inc.

Now more than ever, business trips are a vital part of business life. Time spent away from the office doesn't have to be wasted, however. Smart planning can help you make the most of your travel time.

The first step in planning a business trip is to make sure that the trip is necessary. The following are possible alternatives to traveling:

  • Use a different means of communication. You may be able to handle the same issues on the phone, in a letter, or by a video or tele-conference.

  • Delegate the assignment. Send someone else to represent you. This can be a valuable learning experience for junior associates to develop greater levels of maturity and expertise.

  • Wait. Be certain that you have a complete grasp on the situation before you rush off. If it's not urgent or if an important decision maker wouldn't be able to attend, schedule the trip for a more convenient time.

  • Ask them to come to you. Try inviting the other party to come visit you. You'll save time and be more prepared to make a good presentation. If the trip is necessary, it can still enhance rather than detract from your productivity.

Consider the following to plan a time-efficient business trip:

  • Delegate the arrangements. Have someone who's knowledgeable, such as an office assistant, travel agent, or company travel coordinator, do the legwork for you. Confirm your appointments before you have your flights booked, and avoid scheduling times that would have you arriving or departing around rush hour.

  • Maximize your itinerary. Group appointments together, and find out who else is in the area that you can visit at the same time. Plan activities to keep you productive during layovers, such as reading, making phone calls, or conducting appointments.

  • Be informed. Make a detailed appointment schedule with everything you'll need to know, including the date, time and location of each appointment and the directions to get there. Also list the name, address, phone number and E-mail address of each business contact. Try to get a home phone number in case you need to make contact after business hours about a change in plans.

  • Be prepared. Make a checklist of business and personal items you'll need. Don't forget to consider the climate and weather. Business items may include files, writing materials, a laptop computer, phone cord, calculator, dictating machine and batteries.

  • Copy your schedule. Keep a copy of your itinerary with flight numbers and departure and arrival times. Make sure it includes meal service and ground transportation information and the address, phone number and reservation number for your hotel. Give copies of your itinerary to your family and coworkers as well.

Rutherford Publishing, Inc. produces newsletters that help individuals and organizations discover how to take positive actions in key areas of their lives and to encourage people to use more of their potential. The newsletters include: Total Wellness(r), Tyme Management(tm), The Total Leader(tm), and The Total Person(tm). For information contact or call (800)815-2323 or visit their website at

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