I’m glad that everyone seems to be enjoying the scheduling and planning posts I’ve been doing. I apologize that this post doesn’t have many photos. I’m in the airport and sans photo hard drive. There were a few questions on this planning post and I’ve answered them below.
What Tools do you use for planning?
I use Plan Plus Online to do my general overview and scheduling – and then I sync that with my smartphone (iPhone now, Treo before this). I carry around a notebook for big ideas or to-do lists that get transferred to tasks in Plan Plus Online. Before Plan Plus, I was managing everything through Outlook but it wasn’t as efficient for me.
What do you find gives you energy with your 15+ hour days?
Energy for my day happens through good lifestyle practices. I eat fairly healthy throughout the entire day. People that hang out with me are amazed at how much I eat – but it’s generally all healthy. Lots of protein, low on the processed carbs and very little sugar (save cupcakes) and fat (save cheese). Sure, I have an off day or three (fudge for breakfast, anyone?) but overall, I eat a healthy, small-meals-all-through-the-day diet. I go in phases where I write everything down and monitor every gram (using Livestrong.com) of everything that goes into my mouth to less draconian monitoring habits. I probably spend 1/3 of my year with hardcore monitoring to keep myself honest.I also meditate in short bursts throughout the week in the morning and work out (cardio, pilates, boot camp or weights) at least 5 times a week.
I think all of those things really help with the energy throughout the day.
Is it safe to assume you don’t watch tv?
It is safe to assume we don’t have a tv hooked up in our household. I haven’t ever had a tv in any home or apartment I’ve lived in as an adult, preferring to read instead. That’s not to say that we don’t watch movies or indulge in the occasional Hulu show (Glee, anyone?) but for the most part, we are a non-tv household. My parents emphasized games for family activities rather than television watching and that stuck. But, since I read so much (including People magazine and Entertainment Weekly), I stay pretty caught up on all the pop culture – enough to lowest-common-denominator gossip with the best of them.
Can I ask something else? Why bramble berry, otion and soap queen, instead to be just one brand ?
This is a great question. The short answer is that I am always planning for the future and I wanted to give myself the option to spin off one or any of the companies should the perfect buyer come along without harming the others.
It’s appropriate for me to be writing this post today because I’m traveling, again. In addition to travel for executive education, I travel for business meetings and speaking engagements. There are just some business meetings that can’t be done over the phone or even via Skype. Big meetings with vendors or large customers generally require a face to face to just get that ‘gut check’ done. And speaking engagements are better done in person.
Because I travel so much, I have some travel tips:
1. Pay the extra $3 to park at the closest park’n’ride to the airport. It’s worth it for the 15 minutes of stopping, starting and general slowness otherwise.
2. If your flight takes off at any time before 7 a.m. and you don’t live next to the airport, invest the $99 to just stay at the airport. You’ll be getting up at 5 anyways and it’s just easier to not fight traffic.
3. Don’t check unless your trip is over 5 days or you want full size liquids. You pay money to check bags and then you have to wait for the checked bags.
4. Don’t be the jerk with the extra-large carry on. If you need to check a bag, just give in and check the bag. Don’t be the person that is stuffing the entire overhead bin full, hitting people with your bag and generally being obnoxious. If you do check, pack your important documents in your carry-on. The 1 time out of 100 that your bags get lost will be the one time your marriage license/important presentation/passport is in your checked luggage.
5. Middle seats are only fun when you are under 4 feet tall and weigh less than 100 pounds.
6. It’s easiest to fall asleep during take off. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make any sense.
7. Flights over 7 hours need Ambien or Lunestra. There is never enough reading, movie watching or talking to your seatmate to last 7 hours.
8. Your seatmate. Don’t talk to them unless they clearly are looking to make a new networking connection. If they have their headphones in, have buried themselves in a book or are studiously ignoring you, let them be introverted and enjoy their flight.
9. Babies cry. It’s the nature of things. It doesn’t mean that the Mom holding the baby is a terrible mother and deserves your wrath and dirty looks. Travel with earplugs if you must have silence.
10. Mascara looks terrible after a 4 hour flight. If you are a woman, resist the urge to wear much make up on travel day. You just look like a wilted, sad wreck when you arrive at your destination unless you’re extremely proficient at bathroom touch ups.
11. Wear clothes that you could wear to your first meeting on to the flight. You never know when you are going to need to dash from the (late) flight to your first meeting. Dress business casual at the very least.
12. When you feel like taking a cell phone call prior to the flight taking off yet after you’ve boarded, consider ignoring the call and sending a text message. No one wants to hear your call,
13. When you feel like taking a cell phone call prior to boarding, walk a discrete distance away from the crowd. No one wants to hear your call.
14. Yelling at flight attendants makes those around you uncomfortable. If you’re that uptight, might I suggest Xanex?
15. If your flight is delayed, do not switch airports. It never ends well.
16. If your flight is canceled, call your office and have them start checking available flights for you. When you get to the counter to have your flight rebooked, have your action plan already laid out for the nice customer service person. Ideally, while your office/spouse/friend is checking flights for you, you’ll be on the 1-800 line checking for alternative routes so you don’t even need to step to the counter. Always have a back up plan.
17. If you can use miles to buy any of the ‘Executive Boardroom’ passes, do it. It makes waiting at the airport much easier.
18. When you go through security, have your documents out, your identification at the ready and all your liquids in a clear zip lock baggie; take your coat, scarf, watch and shoes off; empty your pockets. Do this all in 20 seconds or less. You had 10 minutes standing in the Security Line to get prepped. Be efficient.
19. Taxis and public transportation in large cities are a miracle. Use them. Resist the urge to spend $100 a day on a car you’ll never use because you don’t know your way and are scared to drive.
20. Say ‘Thank You’ at every opportunity you get. Traveling is not fun nor glamorous. You might as well make it as pleasant as possible.
If you have any other tips or questions, post them below. I would love to hear how you make travel more easy, enjoyable and delightful for yourself and others.
The Artist says
Great traveling tips,I made sure to make a few suggestions to my sister who is traveling soon and also useful for me as I am on vacation right now,taking a break to finally comment,I got some down time relaxing tonight, after a long day!!
It's so true what Jennie W. said: I once tried a 2-hour nursing session just so that my then-baby wouldn't cry or make noises during the flight. :}
Loved your travel tips, A-M…especially #4! Oh, that one annoys me no end. We always bring just one carry-on each that can be stowed under the seat in front of us.
jennie w. says
More about the mom with the crying baby–if she could get that baby to shut up, she would, believe me! She doesn't want to listen to her baby cry any more than you do.
I love this series — thank you so much!
My favorite travel tip: when dealing with connecting flights go directly to the reader board once you get to the airport. If you're only dealing with a carry on check your carrier to see what flights they have going to your destination at an earlier time and head directly to the gate of the earliest flight you think you can make. Ask the agent at the gate to put you on stand-by. At least 50% of the time you can get on an earlier flight and reach your destination much, much sooner.
I also second using the Executive Boardroom if you have access. They're great places to relax, get a free bite to eat, check email etc. Be sure to check out your airline's reciprocal relationships as well (typically the same airlines they swap frequent flier miles with). You can use their partner's lounges too — so if you're a member of Alaska's boardroom you can also use Northwest, KLM etc.
Great travel tips – I did the Nor Cal / So Cal college commute thing for 4 years (about 5 or 6 trips a year) so I got the ready in 10 seconds thing down. And the perfect sized carry on that fits everything. My dad NEVER checks baggage. He went to Italy for a week and still used the small overhead sized bag. Impressive (to me!). You can always check an extra bag with souvineers on the way home!
oh but what I really wanted to comment on – yes to Glee! We don't have cable or anything, but we connect the computer to the tv to watch Glee. It's wonderful!
Greetings from Minnesota – take a few minutes to visit the TSA.gov website and checkout the "What to Know Before You Go" section for valuable time saving travel tips. Also, if you have implanted medical devices or "non-God-given" metal parts like me (hip replacement) remember to factor in some extra time (15-30 mins) as you will set off the screening equipment alarms and will have to be "hand-wanded" and "patted-down" by a TSA employee. Safe travels to everyone and Happy Holidays!!
As the child of an airline employee with over 25 years of service I can add:
ALWAYS place any daily medications, glasses and/or contacts in your carry on baggage. If you decide to check your bag at the last minute, or if the airline has you check it at the gate you don't want to be searching for it. You also do not want to take the chance that it will be delayed or lost.
I always pack clean underwear & a tshirt in my carry on bag. If your luggage is delayed you will be happy that you can put something clean on after a long day of travel if your luggage is delayed.
Get to the airport with enough time to get thru security, etc. Murphy's Law will have you in the longest line you have ever seen if you are running late!
If your bag is lost or damaged give the person behind the counter a break. He/she did not personally do anything to try to ruin your trip and you aren't the first to be yelling at them that day. Being nice will often get you quicker service, and better service. Also know what your luggage looks like- "a red suitcase" isn't much help.
Tie a ribbon, get a wacky luggage tag, etc so you can pick your bag out quick when you pick it up. Also put your name and contact info on the outside AND inside of your luggage. Those tags the airline provides can get ripped off. It is also really nice if you include your itinerary. It makes tracking you down SO much easier (and faster).
You might have guessed but my dad worked in baggage service which is where you report lost or damaged baggage 🙂
These are all great tips. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the tips Anne Marie. I bring along a small spray bottle of essential oils/water that I spray on the air vents above me.(I always ask my seatmates if I can spray their vents too. So far, no one has turned me down!) I haven't gotten sick traveling when I've done this. The spray also works to disinfect hotel room surfaces too.
I bring a nose inhaler that is my own blend of essential oils that I use during the flight to relax me and to smell something pretty. Also I buy magazines before the flight so I have something to read. If time allows I load my ipod with TV shows to catch up on. I also carry a kit of mini lotion, lip balm, face mist etc. so I feel fresh.
Morgane et Romeo says
Thank you very much for all the tips!
We don't have a TV either and i can't say i miss it!!
Lynn in Seattle says
oops. My message should read "you'll get plenty tired *of* sitting before you can do much walking again."
Lynn in Seattle says
If time allows walk to your gate. You'll get plenty tired if sitting before you can do much walking again.