Valuable Travel Tips To Improve Your Productivity

There is a lot of writing about increased productivity in your work and life. One of the common tips for improving your workflow mentions utilising time spent travelling.

Tips such as using waiting time to catch up on emails, writing, reading, or relaxing time to switch off and just be. This blog post will look closer at ways we can improve our productivity while on the move, whether your office is at your company’s site, at home, in a café, or in a briefcase.

Not all of us have great Personal or Virtual Assistants that can arrange our travel itineraries and prepare our journeys for us. So, if you are travelling a lot via train, plane or automobile, there are many ways you can be more productive, improve workflow and also gain much-needed rest or down time.

Productivity while flying

Airport - Productivity while flying

It all begins with good planning. Planning your itinerary as best you can within the constraints of flight times, meetings etc.

  • Organise yourself so you are not searching for chargers, or rummaging for tickets or booking references. Keep what you can on your mobile device.
  • Ensure you have tickets, details and necessary phone numbers (including credit card) on hand, in case you need them. A copy of your passport is always a good backup.
  • Pack as light as possible. Check out weather forecasts for where you are travelling to. Ensure your paperwork, chargers, spare batteries, ear buds, and other necessary travel accessories are close to hand in cabin luggage or pockets.
  • Make out a plan for times you know you will have layovers or extra waiting time. It’s difficult to predict if the security line at the airport will allow you to pass through in 10 or 45 minutes.
  • Assign and have ready small tasks that can be managed in segments of 10-15 minutes if you find yourself with variable waiting times.
  • Alternatively, set up your audio book or favourite music tracks to listen to as you wait in queues or have your favourite magazine or newspaper to hand if waiting while seated.
  • Use extra waiting time to get some exercise. Some walkways to gates can provide a good brisk 10-minute walk, providing a productive use of time and boosting your energy levels.

 Productivity while on a train

Seat on train - Productivity while on a train

Again, planning and good preparation are key.

  • If you can buy tickets etc in advance, this will save time queuing or searching for available cash etc. You can buy connecting shuttle train tickets on certain flights, or online.
  • Some trains have obligatory seat booking, but it’s a good idea to ensure you have adequate seating, especially if you need to do paperwork or laptop work, neither respond well to standing.
  • A homemade sandwich or carefully prepared salad can provide superior nutrition and sustenance while travelling, rather than relying on travelling food. You can still buy your favourite cappuccino or smoothie and use the facilities to sit down comfortably to eat your healthy lunch.
  • Creative work, if must be done, requires a good working space to lay out papers, jot down ideas, and work on your laptop. Seating with tables allows for this and then take the time to mull over your ideas while enjoying your pre-prepared homemade healthy salad.
  • If your train is very crowded, you can still rely on your smartphone or tablet to provide access to your favourite podcasts, music or even dictate notes, minutes or instructions.
  • After a long day at meetings or conferences, train journeys are a great way to wind down, take your mind off the information you took in during the day and play a game or do a puzzle. This will help your creativity and produce ideas or solutions not realised through brainstorming or discussions.
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Productivity while driving

Car dashboard - Productivity while driving

This is a short one as I personally do not advocate doing anything else in a car while driving. I don’t even listen to the radio anymore. My friend cannot commute to work now without listening to an audio book. So, a couple of productive things would be:

  • Simply use the time to let your mind wander. By thinking about things as they enter our consciousness, we may make sub conscious decisions (as we are consciously concentrating on driving). This can be powerful in releasing creativity and ideas.
  • Listening to audio – music, books, or affirmations – again a subconscious way of relaxing the mind and releasing creativity.

Productivity while walking

  • Have a long, long walk to your platform, gate, or office? You can use this time to make phone calls, and catch up with PAs, colleagues, or friends (while using earbuds.)
  • Alternatively (and my own preference), the time can be spent mindfully. Walk purposefully, working on different muscle groups, changing pace from power walking, light jogging, to slow purposeful walking.
  • I have often used waiting times (delayed flights for example) to take a walk, thus breaking up time spent sitting or standing, both unreasonably tiring.

Productivity while eating

Pasta dish - Productivity while eating

Eating healthily nourishes your body. The level of nutrition that enters your body dictates the quality of output, including that of your brain. We are increasingly learning bad habits with regard to eating time, such as eating at our desks, or while on the move.

  • Don’t type or write while eating. Mindfully eating, and enjoying the taste and texture of your food will provide more satisfaction and sustenance. You will have time to figure out when you are full and allow your body to properly digest your food, providing the physical and mental energy needed to work, travel, and be productive.
  • Eating as an action is productive in itself – allow your meals the time and energy they deserve. They will nourish you and provide positive and productive energy to survive your working day. The time investment is tenfold.

Productivity Apps

As we are so dependent on technology to keep us connected, productive, or simply sane enough to seem normal, here are a few Apps you may find useful:

  • MS Office Apps, IOS Apps, Onenote
  • Bookmarking: Feedly, Evernote
  • Storage: Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox
  • Social: Hootsuite, Buffer, Tweetdeck
  • Logins and Passwords: LastPass
  • Creativity: Freemind for creating mindmaps
  • Productivity: Pomodoro Clock, BNI Timer
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Productivity while in a Spaceship

Come back in about 5 years, I’ll add some tips!

If you dedicate so many working hours in your day to others and their businesses, does it not make sense to allow time for your own activities? And focusing on activities non-work related for a while will unleash more energy to be focused, present, and productive while at work. Outsourcing certain tasks will also increase your productivity, as you will be focusing on the elements of your business that are most important, and income earning!

When you are ready to offload some of the tasks within your business that you find challenging and stressful, please connect with me to have a chat how we can improve and streamline your workflow.

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