When we travel for business, we very often see it as dead time or a loss of productivity. We could be doing so much more in the office but we’re traveling instead. Intellectually we know we can work on the airplane, but it’s not always as easy as that. We want to be productive when we travel for business, but sometimes we get sidetracked. Here are a few disciplines that you should know to be more productive.
Plan everything. It is important to plan and be organized. Schedule a calendar with everything you have on it that you have to do. What time you’re doing it, when and where. Once you know what time you are doing things you can start to figure out when you have free time to do other things. If you have a 2 hour wait while you’re at the airport after checking in but before the plane leaves, you know you have a set piece of time. Also, make sure all your travel information is organized so you do not waste time trying to find it. If you have phone calls to make, be sure you have your phone book and meeting notes on hand so you can make them. Those free pieces of time should be set just like a meeting. Obviously, some things change, it might take you more time to check in than expected, but that would just be like getting to a meeting late. Set yourself a schedule of what you need to do in those down times.
When you are at the airport, you generally will have internet and you can get a lot done on whatever business tasks you need. It should not matter if you’re in your office on the computer or sitting in an airport on the computer. However, there is no connectivity on the airplane itself, so you need to change your focus. Downtime on an airplane is wonderful. There’s no social media, no phone calls, no text, and nothing else to distract you. So pull out a notepad or your laptop, though I have always preferred a notepad on a plane, and start preparing your long-term strategies. There is nothing to distract you here. You are offline so you can focus. Before you get on the airplane though you should have planned what you’re going to work on. Make sure it’s something that you need to think about and work out that you have not had the time to do so yet.
Utilize your calendar
As mentioned in planning, you need to block out your calendar for everything you are doing. Block out the details of time for even such things as riding the taxi. When you travel, your calendar becomes your best friend. When you are confused what to do you can look at your calendar and see what you had planned already. It makes an easy guidance system.
Make sure your data is synchronized with your laptop or you’re carrying it with you. It is useless to travel and try and get business done when you don’t have the information you need. It’s always a good idea to synchronize your laptop to your cell phone and to your online storage if you have it.
When you travel it can be a very productive time. In many ways, it can be compared to going to the library to study when you’re in college. There are no distractions and you can focus on what you need to do. You may have to get used to it a little bit, in your office or at home, you can always jump to other things or change what you’re doing. When you’re sitting in an airport there really isn’t much else you can do. So choose what you’re going to work on and then work on it. Remember plan, use your calendar, and focus. Happy traveling