How to Avoid Business Travel Clouding Your Personal Space

As CEOs and business owners battle with the on-going challenge to achieve a work/life balance, US business travellers have discovered the secret of how to work AND play while away.

An American Express survey revealed that despite one third of business travellers surveyed making more day as opposed to over-night stays over the last year, almost 70% extended their work trip to include a personal vacation.

As an executive coach and business strategist boosting the profitability of owner managed family businesses, I wholeheartedly recommend incorporating a personal retreat into your busy work travel schedule.

Taking a couple of days to ‘take time out’ for you will bring a wealth of benefits – so start off by asking how much better you would feel if you:

◾ Cleared out your accumulated mental baggage?

◾ Took long walks in the country or on the beach (depending upon your business venues) to get grounded?

◾ Took stock of what you have actually achieved as opposed to fret over what you have failed to do?

◾ Plan how you want the business to look and perform over the next three years?

◾ Establish if you have the right team to get the business to its three year destination/

◾ Decide how you will work fewer hours and enjoy more quality time with family and friends?

In the true “practice what you preach” ethos, I go to places such as the wild Northumberland coast to refocus on what is important (but not urgent) to me. Here’s how I utilised by time.

Day One

◾I wrote down everything which was my mind including what had gone well and what I was most proud of.

◾Enjoyed a long walk and found a quiet place to contemplate what was most important to me.

◾Considered what I wanted to achieve personally and professionally life and what it would cost in time, money and effort.

◾At the end of the day I felt quietly relaxed, I had cleared my mind of all the things that had been praying on it and went to bed to allow my subconscious to work its magic while I slept.

Day Two

◾I jotted down key actions needed to achieve what was important to me – they came very easily.

◾I went for another walk, contemplated the ideas I had first come up with and arrived at what I felt were the best solutions.

◾After lunch I drew up a fresh list of priorities, including who would be involved with what, making a time line of each project.

With just two days of reflection I had gained fresh vigour and energy for what lay ahead and was imbued with a new sense of purpose because I had sculpted a new life for myself and not just another ‘to do’ list. To reinforce this, I added appointments to my diary which I will keep with myself.

Do you have any top tips to share from your personal retreats? Let us know through a comment below, or for further information on achieving a work/life balance, e-mail, follow @richardwhatif on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn or post on

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