By Benjamin Spall, Contributor
Sticking to a morning routine when traveling for work can feel like an impossible task.
It’s often easier to just go with the flow when we’re on the road, but this can lead us to falling out of our regular routine and into some unhealthy habits.
Over the past five years, I have interviewed over three-hundred successful people about their morning routines— including the chairman of the Vanguard Group, Bill McNabb, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and media mogul Arianna Huffington. Along with my co-author, Michael Xander, we just released a book of exclusive interviews with advice on how to create a morning routine of your own.
One question we always ask when interviewing people about their mornings is if, and how, they stick to their morning routine when traveling.
We analyzed all the answers we’ve received, and from these answers, we uncovered some key tips and habits that anyone can do to help keep a successful morning routine while traveling for work.
Some of the successful businesspeople we interviewed advocate for scheduling flights around your morning routine, and focusing on getting enough sleep.
If you know you sleep well on planes, choose to take an overnight flight so you can wake up refreshed in your destination and ready to go.
If sleeping on planes is something that doesn’t come as easy as you would like, choose instead to schedule your flight to land in your destination the evening before, so your sleep and morning the next day aren’t affected.
Peter Balyta, president of education technology at Texas Instruments, who told us he travels a lot, said, “On the road, I make it a point to find time to rest, even in short intervals—especially when I’m working through jet lag.”
“I find hotels to be a great place for quiet, mindful morning moments, as there is no temptation to clean out the refrigerator or reorganize my desk,” said Andy Hayes, a premium tea seller.
Hotel rooms are great places to get work done, especially if you’re traveling alone, because you’re less likely to face the same distractions you would at home.
If you travel a lot, try to come up with a standard, personal routine that you always stick to while away. This can be a pared-down version of your at-home routine — where you run on the hotel treadmill instead of around your local park, for example — or a different routine altogether.
“My schedule is dynamic, so I have to be prepared to adapt. I keep a suitcase packed with thin gym shoes and socks and workout stuff so I can weave that into my schedule when I travel. I’m pretty disciplined about sticking to it,” said Kevin Warren, chief commercial officer at Xerox.
But, with that said…
While you should try your best to stick to a personal travel routine, you shouldn’t beat yourself up if things don’t always go as planned.
Fashion model and cultural activist Cameron Russell said, “I travel a lot for work, so my days are always different. Having a morning routine really means fitting things in around everything else.”
If you skip your morning meditation for a couple days in a row, don’t feel like you failed; just get back to it when you return home. And if you can’t get your morning workout in when traveling, that’s OK. The creator of Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey, told us,”With the stresses of sleep deprivation, airplane travel, new time zones, and not being in complete control of the quality of my food, my body doesn’t need the extra stress of vigorous exercise.”
While it’s good to try to find the time to fit in your morning routine when traveling, recognizing that you’re only human allows you to treat your body with the gentleness it needs.
Benjamin Spall is the co-author of My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, and the founding editor of mymorningroutine.com.
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Originally published on Business Insider.