Traveling for work can be considered a perk — in fact, many people often look for jobs with it — but for some it becomes a drain on productivity which can lose that high momentum normally happening at the office.
Between traveling to the airport, sitting at the gate, and sitting on the tarmac, productivity can plummet when you travel. But just five small changes can make a world of difference.
Work from the bottom up. Consider the way you typically attack the top of your priority list first. When you’re traveling, start at the bottom when you’re at the airport and on the plane. While these items may require attention, they’re probably not intensive and may not require a great deal of attention or focus. You can probably do them on auto-pilot or without straining your brain.
Relocate. Hotel room not conducive to working? Probably not with housekeeping tending to your room, a tempting television begging to keep you distracted for hours and let’s be honest, you’re in your bedroom. Work is the last thing you want to do. So relocate to a nearby coffee shop or co-working space. A change of scenery can also motivate you to work. With a little pre-planning (locations within walking distance, decent wi-fi, peak hours), you’ll be all set to do some strong and steady work.
Pack spares. You probably pack spare shirts and pants for those “just in case moments,” don’t you? Do the same for your technology. Nothing grinds progress to a complete stop more than forgetting your charger cords. Consider packing an extra one in your suitcase, in addition to the one in your briefcase or backpack. If you forgot yours, ask the front desk if they have any in lost and found. (Just make sure the voltage matches yours; keep a photo of your charger cord on your phone just in case.)
Block out the sound. Often times travelers are distracted by their surroundings and the people in them. Noise-canceling headphones can drown out the ambient noise so you can focus on the task at hand. Remember, too, that noise-canceling headphones use batteries to block out the sound so these may need charging, too. So make sure you have an extra cord or set of batteries.
Get plenty of rest. Most travel involves a lot of meetings and getting from place to place, on top of the work you still have to do from the office. Yes, you want to be prepared, but you won’t want to arrive exhausted. Be sure you get sufficient sleep on the plane, or you’ll find the time you allotted for work will become nap time.
With a little bit of forethought, any time spent traveling can be productive, as long as you plan ahead. Once you discover a method that works for you, use it every time you travel and watch your productivity soar, even when you’re out of the office.
Photo credit: Unknown Creator (MaxPixel.com, Creative Commons 0)