Traveler's schedule

Traveling can be a huge productivity gain. When I traveled to San Francisco last week, I met up with countless high quality people, had 5 encounters with 5 random out-of-town friends, and met with my investors. This productivity gain would have taken me an equivalent of a few weeks of meetings, if not months, to coordinate. Furthermore, there is a huge premium to face to face meetings that cannot be understated.

There are certainly costs to traveling. Personal costs such as not seeing family for extended periods of time is one. Work costs such as lost productivity from jet lag is another.

The way to reduce most work costs is to keep the hygiene factors the same. Hygiene factors are structures that keep the level of work consistency relatively similar when traveling. Structures like internet access, transportation to and from work (Uber or efficient public transportation), and similar office spaces (WeWork or Galvanize).

The main work cost of losing productivity from jet lag is to sleep well at night and take naps if necessary. Oftentimes the solution is to stay at a hotel since that optimizes sleep, and have that hotel be close to the office for quick naps. Hotels are better than Airbnbs for sleep comfort.

Personal costs can be mediated through doing shorter travel trips, like only one week at a time. This reduces the amount of ground time in the new location, but also increases the urgency of meetings. "I'm only in town for one week" increases the likelihood someone will meet you.

I once heard good advice to manage the transitions, and travel is no different. This means to reduce the friction of getting to the airport (being on-time and checking in online), getting delayed to wait for luggage (only carry-ons), and getting to the hotel/Airbnb (know what type of transportation before you arrive).