The Bento Box Bliss of Business travel
If you are going to be away from your family on business travel – you may as well try to make the most of the “positives”.
One of the things I “enjoy” about business travel is it gets me out of my routine and I find because I’m in different places I am free to “think different thoughts”.
You can find the “away time” is a real boost for creating new ideas and I recommend that you deliberately put yourself in “new environments” to encourage new thinking. I’m not suggesting anything too extreme!
Also, you can get a chance to “think more deeply” about other things rather than focusing on important but often routine domestic tasks.
I live in Brisbane, Australia. This week I am away working in Sydney. I know the photo looks like I’m in Asia – but the photo was taken in a noisy yet stimulating Japanese restaurant where I enjoy the bliss of bento.
I love the elegance and variety of a Bento Box and in my “deeper thinking” mode I found an apt analogy for the benefits of business travel.
I tried to analyse why I like a bento box so much – and it comes down to variety and contrast within compartments of structure and symmetry.
I love that there is variety – not just too much of the one thing to eat – a taste of this then a taste of something contrasting in flavor and texture. (I’m salivating from just writing this!)
Plus, I love the symmetrical compartments – order and balance.
So let’s see how this applies to business travel.
For me it’s about the variety and contrast – from the constant togetherness of family (which is a wonderful thing!) to the contrast being “alone” on business trips.
Even in a noisy crowded Japanese restaurant you can be alone without being lonely. You only have to look after yourself, sit by yourself – You don’t have to manage family.
And like the bento box there is not too much of the one thing – not too much being alone away on business travel. My life is in compartments – I know I’ll be away for a few days, then I’ll be back, then I’ll be away again for a few days, then I’ll be back home! Manageable compartments of time variety.
The bliss of not having to talk
Once when I was on a business trip speaking and training at a conference in Dubai I enjoyed a day off where I didn’t have to talk to anyone for the whole day!
Do you know how refreshing and recharging that is for a corporate trainer who “talks” all day for work to be silent. I don’t get to have silent days at home with the family.
Now, I don’t want you to think I am an antisocial hermit – I just love the contrast of sometimes enjoying being silent (even in a noisy restaurant).
Compartments of time to work on improving your work skills
Being away on business if also a great opportunity not just to do your work – but also to have time to learn new things for work that improve your knowledge and skills.
You can set yourself goals to use some of your downtime to “study” and advance your skills.
At the risk of sounding like a real studious nerd, on a business trip to Singapore, I once had time to devour a whole book called Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. I’d never get such an uninterrupted block of time like that at home. That day added valuable knowledge to my work as a presentation coach.
You can read about here.
Interestingly, Garr Reynolds is an even bigger fan of the beauty of the Bento Box – such a fan he has been inspired to create Presentation Zen Bento Box. (Even this photo makes me hungry!)
When I’m next in Singapore on business in a couple of weeks I now plan to enjoy two bento boxes – bento from a my favourite Japanese restaurant there – and Garr’s Presentation Zen Bento Box ! I’ll have the time to devour that too!
Here’s a link to more about Garr’s Presentation Zen Bento Box. If you present at all in your business he had lots of excellent design and delivery tips for you.