5 Ways To Maintain CEO Discipline When You’re On The Road

Are you planning for travel through the holidays or new year?

It might feel hard to stick to your high performance routine on the road…

But it doesn’t have to be.

Michelle, Daisy, and I have spent much of 2021 bouncing around between AirBnBs and hotels…

And as a former road warrior, I’ve done a lot of extreme traveling — like going to Japan for 4 days (from Toronto)…

… Or spending 43 days in South Africa, Europe, and the UK in 2018.  So I know how tough it can be when you’re living in small spaces and new places with your family – and still trying to stick to your early mornings and work schedule.

Here’s what I do to flow into my AM routine and maintain CEO discipline no matter where we are:

1. Win the Morning with Your Night Time Routine

Success tomorrow starts with your bedtime tonight.  Make it clear with your family about what time you must go to sleep.

Then you set your reverse alarm and determine boundaries for when you will:

a) Shut off electronics
b) Stop working
c) Stop eating

Make sure to think ahead about your sleeping environment… will it be cold enough, dark enough, quiet enough, humid enough, etc.

If not, bring eye mask, ear plugs, and even a humidifier.

(Michelle and I suffered the first two nights at Tahoe because I didn’t realize the extreme elevation and dryness – it’s higher than Denver at 7,500 feet.  It took us a few days to get back on track and finally have a good night’s sleep.)

If you have an Oura ring or Whoop band, use the data to get on a good sleep routine ASAP.

2. Morning Routine

Communicate your plan clearly to your family.

Put all your morning drinks (water, coffee) in easy-to-access areas.

Make it easy to pick up your clothes and slip out of bed to your workstation.

Set every work item (laptop, notes, chargers, books, etc) out the night before at your morning workstation.

Ignore the temptation to let Daisy the Dog out of the crate! (Oh wait, that’s just for me, haha)

3. Do NOT Over Schedule

You should expect to get 60 minutes of focused work done in a 90 minute block in a new location.

Some time will be lost to the “newness” of the environment.

You also need to avoid overcommitting to work if you have family responsibilities that will take up a good part of the day (or keep you up late at night).

Ruthlessly cut what doesn’t matter… delegate more to your team… and use this time to expand their responsibility and give them the opportunity to step up.

4. Schedule Exercise

If you’re traveling and don’t have an active day of sightseeing planned…

Then put in a non-negotiable 30-minute bodyweight workout as early as possible in the day.  Your brain and body needs it.

Don’t skip out on exercise when traveling.  It must be done daily.

5. Schedule Meals

When you enter a new time zone, act as if you’ve been in that time zone for years. (This goes for eating, sleeping, exercising, etc.)

Get on a routine as quickly as possible in your new home and time zone and stick to that routine as strongly as possible.

(I once flew from Denver-Seattle-Vancouver-Hong Kong in one day and was immediately up at 4am and on my regular schedule the next day.)

Make your breakfasts and lunches as boring and healthy as possible so you have freedom in family dinners.  But don’t overeat at dinner because that destroys your sleep.

And the first stop whenever you enter a new city needs to be a grocery store.  Get groceries before check in…

Michelle and I either hit Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (her favorite), a local grocery, or a Target (but only Target if we have three hours to spend in the store, lol).

You should buy more water than you need…

And all the regular fruits, vegetables, and snacks that you consume at home (as much as you can).

If you’re not staying in an airbnb and must use a hotel, request a mini-fridge be sent to your room in advance or upon arrival.

By following these 5 simple tips when traveling you can beat temptation… overcome jet lag… and quickly adapt to whatever environment or time zone you’re in.

I hope these come in handy for you.  Let me know how it goes!

Success Loves Speed,
Craig Ballantyne

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