Advice For The Traveler: Make No Changes On Day Of (Or Day Before) Travel

by Randy Murray on March 7, 2011

Last week, before I headed off to the airport to make a client visit for a few days, I remembered that a couple of my email accounts weren’t syncing properly to my iPhone and iPad. So in the few minutes I had before I rushed off and catch my plane, I updated my syncing preferences.

And, of course, I screwed up something. For the remainder of the trip my calendars wouldn’t sync at all.

It was something simple and I fixed it in under thirty seconds once I got back to my home and desk, but it reinforced an important lesson: don’t change ANYTHING just before you leave on a trip.

I have learned over the years to never travel by air to anywhere on the day of an important meeting (always arrive at least one day in advance). Now I’m clear on making system or tool changes during that same interval.

  • Don’t use a new tool on a trip that you haven’t mastered 24 hours before you leave.
  • Have all presentations and work completed and “locked in” a full 24 hours or more before leaving.
  • Resist all urges to “tweak” your systems, tools, or processes during this time as well.

This all applies to demos and presentations, too. How many demos have you seen that fail at some point? My experience: most of them. Presentations and demonstrations are often worked on up to the moment of presenting. A very bad idea. I’ve delivered more than a few demos myself and learned to tap dance and misdirect with the skill and grace of Houdin. But I’ve also learned that dancing and magic tricks are not necessary if you simply move your deadlines up and enforce a simple “no changes” rule a full day before travel or important meetings.

The Advice For The Traveler: Make No Changes On Day Of (Or Day Before) Travel by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Raffel March 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

Just Yes. When I got this htc EVO last year it sat untouched in the box until I got back from a trip and had a week to learn. My mobile device is far to important a tool to mess with at the 11th hour. Another great post!


Randy Murray March 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

Thanks, Jim. You have far more self control than I do!

I have another trip coming up with a five hour seminar to deliver. I plan on locking it in 4 days in advance. Learned the hard way, I’m afraid.


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