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You’ve got your tablet, your international-enabled mobile phone, your wi-fi password, and an Internet hotspot attached to your laptop. You’re attending an industry conference far from home, but you’re determined to prove your worth by staying ever-connected to the office.

Here’s a better way to advance your career: Unplug instead.

Business today is all about innovation, but you can’t innovate if your mind is focused only on inbound emails and the next conference call. While traveling on business or attending an out-of-town conference, consider disconnecting for an allotted amount of time each day.

Then, schedule a meeting with yourself.

Between the keynote speeches and the can’t-miss sessions, go for a stroll in a nearby botanical garden. Drink in the view from a skyscraper’s roof-deck observatory. Clear your head on a river cruise, or fill it with inspiration at a world-class museum. This is professional development, make no mistake.

New sights and sounds stimulate parts of the brain that you just don’t use when you’re reviewing a spreadsheet. A change of scenery will inspire you to tackle old challenges with a new perspective, and if you indulge in a little outside-the-box exploration while you’re on the road, you’ll arrive back at work brimming with new ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for the tasks at hand.

You’ll be so energized you might not even notice the jet lag.

– By David Grady – Crowne Plaza’s Productivity Guru