A CEO's tip for coping with travel stress

Vue International founder - and frequent flyer - Tim Richards has a simple balm for fellow itinerant chief execs.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 14 Aug 2019

For many top executives, the reality of running a business in an increasingly globalised world means you probably have to travel a lot, and travel can be stressful.

Tim Richards, CEO of cinema chain Vue International, knows all about that. Before founding the business, the former Wall Street cross-border finance lawyer, Paramount/Universal international business development manager and SVP at Warner Bros had already racked up countless air miles.

It’s not much easier now that he’s in charge of a business with 10,000 staff across 229 sites in 10 countries. Fortunately, Richards has learned a thing or two about keeping sane as an itinerant CEO.

"When I was with the movie studios I was travelling all the time. I think in my worst year I spent something like 50 or 60 per cent of my calendar days travelling - going to meetings and flying back. 

"Travelling is tiring and stressful, but something I learnt a long time ago is that it’s possible to de-stress your life significantly. You can never de-stress it completely but there are many areas where people create unnecessary stress. 

"You can eliminate so much of that fairly easily, for example by arriving at the airport half an hour earlier and working in the lounge rather than crashing through security because you arrived 20 minutes late.

"For me though, physical exercise is the best stress reduction there is. I don’t do it as much anymore, but I used to run 10K every single morning for years and years.

"In order to be sharp I just had to work out. When you’re working really hard and travelling a lot, it is difficult to stick to that routine. You need to be disciplined, and for me the one easy thing is grabbing running shoes and shorts before you go. It’s easy to pack. 

"Going for a run in the morning is hands down the best cure for jetlag. It really is."

Image credit: C Cagnin/Pexels


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