Living in Southeast Asia, there are a lot of business people who travel the region regularly. When you ask them where they live, the answer is often 12A. The problem is that consistent changes in environment often cause the routines we normally run successfully in our home environment to go awry.
Here are the 5 biggest mistakes air-warriors make:
- Not getting enough sleep. The brain works best when it has rested. It requires time to create neural pathways, connections, and associations as well as store information from the day’s activities. Your prefrontal cortex is where you make executive decisions as well as judgments between what’s right or wrong and good or bad. With less than 6 hours of sleep you can kiss this executive function good-bye. And no, you cannot “catch up” on weekends. Your brain doesn’t work that way. Turn off the TV, put the laptop to rest and go to sleep.
- Not Exercising. Even if you don’t work out consistently when you are at home, working out when you are on the road is a must. Think about it. You’re sitting in a plane, sitting at meetings, sitting at dinner, sitting in the cab to and from the airport and those meetings. Isn’t it about time you get up and move? You’re body is begging you, trust me. The mind and body are connected. The less you move your body, the less your mind moves. You want to be on your game, right? Then hit the gym. You don’t have to run a marathon. You just have to do something. Anything. Just move.
- Changing Eating habits. This is probably the worst one for air-warriors. It’s like they’re on holiday. They eat rich and heavy foods, often late at night then wake up the next morning, have a full breakfast and then large lunches. Worse, is that they skip meals or grab junk food on the run. Eat your vegetables. Eat some whole grains. Your brain likes glucose. That’s what provides energy to your brain. You can’t get glucose from protein or junk food. Take care of your brain and eat your veggies.
- Not scheduling time with spouses, children or friends after traveling. There’s nothing like absence to ruin a perfectly good marriage. If you aren’t scheduling time to reconnect to those who mean something to you then most likely they won’t be around for very long. As long as you are putting that massive business trip in your calendar, why not book something for when you get back so the family and/or the friends have something to look forward to?
- Acting as if you’re still working when you are with your friends or family. Sometimes when air-warriors travel too much they forget that not every human interaction is a business transaction. They forget that their spouse isn’t a secretary and their children aren’t part of the staff. They forget their manners and how to say please and thank you. Basically, they forget that the home environment isn’t work and requires a different state of mind.
When it comes down to it – it’s about self-discipline. Managing yourself in different environments, staying on track to achieve your outcomes, and re-affirming important relationships is all part of adult life.