One of toughest things about returning to school mid-career is keeping up with class and a demanding job, especially if you travel frequently for business or even for pleasure. 2008 MBA alum Dennis Quiles never considered a traditional school due to his hectic work schedule. In our recent Serious Talk Webinar, he explains how online school made getting his degree possible:
Here are a few tips that can help make every mile and every minute count while you are travelling, working and earning your degree:
Get voice and internet access ahead of time. Find out ahead of time what the hotels charge for voice and Internet access. If you want internet access outside your hotel, consider an international data and/or voice plan. In many cases they are cheaper and more robust than what you can get at your hotel. Some even allow you to make your cell phone a hot spot for your other devices. But before you buy, make sure that any plan you choose covers your destination.
Book a single room. You’ll be attending to most of your research, assignments and classes in your hotel room while you are traveling. To get the best sleep and study time out of your accommodations, arrange to go solo. If your employer tends to room you with a colleague, find out if you can pay the difference for a single.
Bring the right plug adaptors. You don’t want to get halfway across the globe only to realize that you can’t charge your phone or laptop. David Lavenda from FastCompany.com recommends using Countryplug.com, an online guide to voltages and plugs around the world. Just to be sure, bring USB adaptors so you can charge your phone or tablet from your laptop.
Join a club. Expecting long layovers or delays? If you travel often with the same carrier or credit card to difficult destinations, CBS News recommends that you join their travel club. You’ll get more rest and a better quality of work out of the few extra minutes you spend in a comfy VIP lounge than on a hard bench in a busy corridor. Plus VIP lounges often offer beverages, snacks and free Wi-Fi.
Reduce jet lag. You’ll retain more information and perform better at school if you are well rested. That’s not easy to do on a 12-hour overseas flight. To reduce jet lag from the get-go, start setting your internal clock to your new time zone ahead a few days ahead of time. When you board your plane, estimate what your proper bedtime is and stick to it. Noise cancelling headphones, comfortable clothes and a window seat will all increase your chances of getting some serious shut-eye before you land.
Feed your body and mind. We tend to eat poorly, sleep sporadically and ignore exercise completely when we travel. To get the most out of every minute on the road, treat yourself better than you would at home. Eat a healthy meal before you get on the plane, avoid alcohol and get the rest you need. Swimming is an ideal exercise for business travelers. You only need a swimsuit and goggles to get a great workout. Plus the extra effort you expend in the pool will help you reduce stress, sleep better and think more clearly in time to finish that next paper.