By Kevin Derman
You are about to board another plane for yet another business trip. "Wow.", you think, "This is my forth trip this month. I am wasting way to much time traveling and things are falling behind."
It need not be this way. If you are disciplined and plan ahead you can turn you travel time into valuable and productive work time. This article provides some advice and guidelines to maximize your ability to do this.
Travel is a brilliant opportunity not only to catch up on unread emails and get in some reading time, but also to shift your mind into a different gear. It can be creative time too.
Have your tools ready.
If you want to use the time correctly, make sure that you pack correctly. Have your notebook (paper or computer) available and easy to access. IF you are going to struggle to get it out, hitting people over the head as you pry it from the overhead compartment, not only are you going to battle but the glares alone from your fellow passengers will be enough to put you off.
Ensure you have enough power.
I'm not only referring to charged batteries for your notebook, but also your own individual power. To get on a flight exhausted and with a hangover does not make for a good productive session. If you know you are catching that early morning flight, get a good nights rest rather than burning that midnight oil. Take a rain check on those last 4 drinks in the hotel bar for the next trip. Not only will you arrive at your destination fueled and charged, but your creative spurt during your travels will inspire you for the rest of the day.
Now regarding your notebook battery. If you are early and decide to do some work in the business lounge, don't forget to plug in. Make sure that you get on your flight with a full charge. If you are on an international flight, consider taking a spare battery along. However, some airlines do have in flight chargers these days.
Shut off and zone in.
It's acceptable when traveling to zone out for a while but equally acceptable to zone in when you need to get some work done. An iPod or MP3 player is a brilliant cure for that neighboring passenger that just wont shut up, and feels it's is essential that they tell you about the 4 kids and 7 grand children and all of their wonderful natural talents. Quick, get those earphones in, laptop out and zone in.
Get the creative juices flowing.
I'm not only talking about the wine, however, a glass of wine or your drink of choice, can do wonders to shift your mind into a different gear (provided you are not on the red eye morning flight). Use the different environment to do some creative thinking. Brainstorm about an issue that has been bugging you. Perhaps, chat to the person next to you about it to generate some new ideas.
Do something different to change the routine you re normally in when traveling. For example, if you normally read the entire flight, do a Soduku or a crossword puzzle, shift your brain, and then get out your notebook.
Don't forget to save.
There are few things worse than that feeling of opening your notebook and realizing that you did not press the save button. All that work, time and effort down the drain. So, ensure that you have auto save on as standard to minimize this risk. Consider, also backing up your work to a flash drive while you are on the road. Ensure that you store your flash drive away from your notebook. If your notebook gets lost or stolen, at least you will have your work or presentation on your flash drive and all will not be lost.
So when the next trip come around, decide upfront if this is going to be recreation travel time or productive time and plan ahead. After all, even though you are traveling, the time is still yours. Create your life.
Click here to read more of Kevin's thoughts on business and motivation. Kevins Thoughts.
Kevin Derman is a man of many talents. Topping the list are his roles in business as an entrepreneur and as a motivational speaker. His presentations are engaging and deliver an eclectic mix of topics ranging from "the Psychology of Buying and Selling" to "Happiness - the never ending quest". Kevin Derman's Motivational Site