Traveling is one of the most exciting parts of working in travel med, you’ll get to see new parts of our country, experience new things, and make tons of new connections and relationships! But all this traveling can cause some side effects. Long-distance flights and changing time zones can put an impact your internal body’s clock, induce jet lag, or even create confusion around time commitments. After a long day of traveling through time zones, it can take up to one full day for your body to adjust to every hour the time has shifted.
While managing constant time changes can be a bit of a hassle, there are some easy ways busy people like yourself can stay on top of it! Here are a few helpful tips that you can master to help stay on top of constant time changes:
- Technology is your friend! You can allow your smart devices (smartphone, smartwatch, etc) to sync with your destination’s local time by turning on your location. This can be found in the settings of your device.
- Make sure to be specific. Start by double-checking the start time (and time zone) when planning future meetings, Zoom calls, or even any new assignment orientations. One trick when communicating with others is to incorporate the time zone into your everyday language. For example, if someone is looking for your availability for a new training you can say “I am available between 1 pm and 3 pm (EST).” You can use Pacific Time (PT), Mountain Time (MT), Central Time (CT), or Eastern Time (ET or EST) anytime you mention the time. It never hurts to clarify even the smallest details because that could make all the difference in the end.
- Get something to reference. Nowadays almost every smartphone has a world clock feature along with a timer, or alarm clock. You can place that app on your phone’s home page, or even download a time zone app if you don’t already have it. If you are a bit old-fashioned, or just like something simpler than your phone, you can always print out a time zone map, or take a screenshot of one to save on your phone. This is also handy for easy access in places with no Wi-Fi or internet service.
- Plan ahead. Make sure to give ourselves plenty of time and grace when planning activities across time zones. The last thing to want to do is underestimate the effects of consistent jet lag! If this is left unaddressed, it can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health as well as impact your relationships, job performance, and emotional state. You can even try arriving at your destination a few days early, this will allow your body to naturally adjust before your first day!
If you are a veteran in travel med you already know that confusion, and miscommunication around time zones is bound to happen, and that’s okay! Try to incorporate these tips and tricks into your everyday routine to help you stay on top of your busy schedule. We hope you have found this article helpful! If you are interested in starting your travel med career, reach out to one of our recruiters or visit our jobs board today!