Keeping energy levels high – even though you’ve just crossed six time zones

Posted by: on Jul 4, 2011 | One Comment

– Once I had a very important meeting in London with ten hours of presentations ahead of me. I arrived at my hotel the night before, longing to go to bed after a long day. That night turned out to be a true nightmare. Every now and then, the entire room started trembling. Since I was in a dazed and sleepy state, I first thought it was an earth quake – until I realized my room was next to the elevator shaft! That night I basically got no sleep at all, and the next day was dreadful. Since that experience I plan all my trips meticulously and well ahead.

Business travelling is about work. That means there is no time for being tired. You have to be mentally present many hours a day. You have to be efficient. You have to get to know new people – and most of all, you need to enjoy what you are doing. However, achieving a high level of energy is an art, especially if you have just crossed the ocean, and many time zones.

Stick to your routines. Live as if you would back home, no matter where you are. That is my key to success on the road. These are my four must-do-routines.

Stick to a healthy diet
Elaborate business dinners and greasy hotel breakfasts can quickly undermine any attempt to a healthy diet. Expanding the waistline is easily done, but not a very good idea if you want to enjoy a long and healthy life. Breakfast is important to me and definitely should not remind me of my time in military service (which it surprisingly often does even at some highly priced hotels.) A good breakfast simply makes a wonderful start of the day. Healthy food, in reasonable amounts and at regular hours is essential – even in countries like Spain where supper rarely is served until late hours.

Put on those jogging shoes
JoggingI generally travel light, but in my suitcase I always have room for a pair of training shoes. Before booking any hotel I make sure there is a good jogging track nearby or at least access to a gym. Going for a forty minute run makes miracles.

Keep a positive frame of mind
I try not to think too much about jet lag. If you think about jet lag and its possible consequences on your mental state you will for sure get jet lagged. If I land in Latin America in the evening I go to bed at night, just like everybody else. I simply adapt wherever I go. Once I arrived in Sydney, Australia, in the morning after an overseas trip. Instead of plunging into bed (and that is really what I felt like doing right then) I put on my jogging shoes and got back refreshed to continue the day.

Choose your hotel wisely
I carefully select the hotels that I stay in. I generally prefer smaller (small to me means less than 100 rooms) and family owned hotels. Before arriving, I ensure the hotel is well aware of my preferences when it comes to choice and location of room. One should not have to use ear plugs when paying a large sum of money to sleep. is an excellent source of information. I read it in order to find out what previous guests have written about a specific hotel and several times it has actually stopped me from making a reservation.

A last advice is never to accept a room on the top floor. This lesson I did learn after staying on the 40th floor at a hotel in Singapore. In the middle of the night all alarms suddenly went off. This time it actually was a fire, and not the elevator. After having sprinted down 40 stories three a clock in the morning I decided from then on to always request a room “not at the top”.

1 Comment

  1. Nigel
    July 16, 2011

    All very true and sensible Dag. In the old days, before I had diabetes I would have thought this advice to be over the top and also unachievable. Now, at 40kg lighter and a committed runner your advice could come straight out of my own schedule. I even go to the lengths of taking my own home-made sugar-free muesli with me wherever I go!


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Foto på Dag Andersson