How does taking time for yourself benefit your work?

Like many people, I travel extensively for work. I am responsible for meeting with constituents and welcoming guests to events around the world. How do I connect with the place I am visiting, and with the people I represent in each city? I take 45 minutes to stop by a local historical spot, take a spin through a neighborhood or drop by a museum to see an exhibit. And you are thinking…. Can I take 45 minutes during a trip? And, my answer is yes!

Interestingly, it was the President of the institution I work for that led me down this path several years ago. On my first trip to Dallas, Texas, she recommended that I take time and stop by one of the art museums in the Arts District. I didn’t think I would ever have time, but when one visit was canceled, and I arrived for my next appointment forty-five minutes early, I noticed the Crow Museum of Asian Art in the adjacent building. I spent thirty minutes walking around and looking at the fantastic collection of East Asian art. I didn’t realize at that moment that this would give me something special to talk about during the rest of my meetings, as well as that same evening at a cocktail party we were hosting. Not only did I feel more connected to Dallas, but I was also able to share my experience and relate in a new and unique way with our constituents.

During trips, I try to stop by a local spot whenever possible. If you can find 30 or 45 minutes for yourself during business travel, you will enjoy the entire trip so much more, and you’ll represent your company to your clients all the better.

Here are a few ways to Take 45:

Historic Buildings – walk up to historic buildings and read the placards on the walls to learn about its place in the community.
Botanical Gardens and Parks – visit a garden and stroll among the native plants that make that area and region unique.
Roadside Markers – pull over for a few minutes to read a roadside marker and discover the history of that special place.
Historic Neighborhoods – drive through a neighborhood that exemplifies the architecture of the city or an important community in that town.
Coffee Shops and Diners – find the oldest or newest, great coffee shop or eatery. (I’m not talking about a Starbucks unless you are in Seattle, and then, by all means, visit Starbucks in Pike Place.)
Museums – stop by a museum, either big or small, to see what is being collected and displayed.

With all of our business travel, it is important to spend time during trips learning about the community we are visiting. You will feel inspired, refreshed and connected in new ways.


Taking 45 to visit a museum in Shanghai, China