Traveling for work on an international flight doesn’t mean you have to close your laptop. Read this article to learn how to be productive when traveling.
Traveling for work? Heading to an important conference halfway across the world? Whether you’re going to China or Brazil, your flight doesn’t have to be a total timewaster! In fact, even on a long international flight extending for hours, you can still be productive and get a lot accomplished. Let’s get into how to maximize your travel time!
Pack the Right Fuel
We all know that traveling can be exhausting – both physically and mentally. Even if the soda or alcohol cart tempts you, consider the benefits of good, old-fashioned H20. It’s very easy to get dehydrated when traveling. Drinking plenty of water will help you feel more alert and prevent you from feeling sluggish or sick. If you do need a caffeine or alcohol boost, stick to one cup. Both can be extremely dehydrating, and when you’re 30,000 feet in the air, this is a very uncomfortable feeling. Additionally, it’s best to pack your own snacks. Consider a balance of healthy fats (like nuts) and protein (like a turkey sandwich). Even grabbing your own prepackaged salad or wrap before heading on your flight can go a long way. Most airline foods, by nature, aren’t very nutritious (and many of them aren’t even tasty), so try to plan ahead in order to take care of your mind and body. If everything else fails, remember that standard airplane peanuts do provide some quality nutrition. Protein anyone?
Designate Your Work Tasks
Got a lot of work to do? You’re probably hoping to take advantage of that in-flight time to crank out some of your assignments. When you’re 30,000 feet in the air, you need to have a plan and determine what tasks are most critical. You’re simply not going to get everything done. It’s best to be patient and reasonable with your expectations. Your airplane seat is not synonymous with your office desk chair. With that said, you can still get plenty done. You may even find it even easier to buckle down and work without the distraction of co-workers or ringing phones. If you go in with a clear objective in mind, it’s a lot easier to stay focused and prioritize what needs to be done. Before your international flight, jot down a few goals you have. As you accomplish them, cross them off your list. Keep in mind, however, that you may just want to devote a portion of your international fight to work-related tasks. After all, this is a great time to relax and decompress. Plus, you need to stave off the dreaded jetlag upon your arrival.
Download Ahead of Time
If you’ve ever used airplane Wi-Fi in the past, then you know how spotty and unpredictable it can be. Nothing is worse than working on an important project only for your Internet connection to cut out halfway through. Plan ahead and download any necessary files or documents you’ll need ahead of time. Set aside any work that you’ll need to draft out (like emails). Use a Word document as a back-up if needed. That way, you’ll be ready to get to send out whatever you need once you have a more reliable connection.
Pack Your Chargers
Make sure that your laptop and cell phone have enough battery to stay alive and charged throughout the flight. Turn your devices onto airplane mode to save battery. You may also want to consider investing in a portable charger, so you don’t have to rely on (the very few) outlets in the airport. Once on the flight, many business seats provide USB charging outlets, but it’s best to check ahead of time. Bring an extra charger just in case.
Read a Book
As you pack for your flight, make sure that you toss in a new book or download one to your e-reader. Chances are, you have plenty of reading material that you’ve wanted to get around to when you have the time. Good news! On a long, international flight, you have time, and lot’s of it. Reading allows you to learn new things. If you’re on a long flight, it’s a great opportunity to dive (distraction-free) into new knowledge. All successful entrepreneurs know the power that comes from reading. Use this precious time to take advantage of your valuable opportunity for growth!
Watch a Documentary or Listen to a Podcast
Getting tired? You should definitely sleep! If you’re still trying to stay awake because you want to prepare yourself for the time zones, consider relaxing with a documentary or podcast. They require minimal effort (you literally just have to sit there), but they can still help you feel productive. They can also boost your brainpower and keep you focused on staying awake. Consider downloading a few enticing podcasts and documentaries to your devices before departure. And if you do end up falling asleep? Allow yourself the rest. Your body will tell you what it needs when it needs it.
Meditate and Reflect
When you’re focused on enhancing productivity, it may seem counterintuitive to, you know, do the exact opposite. However, research shows that the ability to turn off all that mental noise and decompress actually increases work performance and leadership abilities. No, you don’t need to meditate during your entire international flight. But, chances are, you don’t spend enough time just resting, relaxing, and reflecting on your day-to-day life. If you can devote just 10-30 minutes to doing this on your flight, you may find yourself feeling significantly calmer, sharper, and restored. Shut down the laptop. Turn off your phone. Put away the music and books. Just allow yourself the ability to drift off and breathe without distractions.
Get the Most Out of Your International Flight
With the right planning and strategizing, it’s easy to stay productive and fulfilled throughout your business trip. Interested in VIP office space, administrative, or translation services upon your arrival? Check out what we can offer you!