How to get work done while traveling
If only there were more hours in a day, you could get so much more done, right? Well, you don’t really need more hours in the day. What you need is to use the hours that you have more efficiently. One of the ways you can do that is by working while traveling. If you’ve tried it before and it just didn’t work, you just need to try these suggestions to make it much more effective for you.
Have a plan
When you don’t have a plan, you will likely not do anything when you’re on a flight or waiting for one. However, if you tell yourself you will complete the report you need to submit in a couple of days, you will be much more motivated to get it done.
Make sure you have what you need
With the cloud, you can do so much more on the go. Before you leave your home or office, be sure that all of the files you need are on your mobile device or on the cloud, so you can access it. That way you won’t get stuck with nothing to do as you’re sitting on the train.
Don’t forget the power
Mobile devices don’t have as long of a battery life as we would like them to, so make sure you have the power cord for them. You can charge while at the airport, in the bus station or when you get to your hotel room. You may end up stuck with a dead device at some point, but it’s better than not being able to use it at all. It may even be worth it to pick up a new USB charger that allows you to get the most power for your travel.
Use a mi-fi device
Unfortunately, there are some places you cannot get a Wi-Fi connection. This can hold up your productivity, so be sure to bring your Mi-Fi device. That way you’ll have access to the Internet no matter where you are or what time it is.
People often talk on public transportation such as a train, subway or bus. Since that can be distracting for you, bring headphones to drown out the noise. Listen to music that will help your mind focus, such as classical music.
Use the pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to get work done. It involves 25 minutes of focused work and then a five-minute break. During your break, you should stand up, get a drink or just stretch. When the five minutes are up, you dive into 25 more minutes of work. Try it – it really works!
Connect to the office
It can be easy to forget about work when you’re traveling because you want to have some fun. However, if you need to work, it can make things difficult. To keep your mind on what really matters during your trip, connect to the office often. Call in to check on what is going on, Skype with co-workers and check your email. It will keep you in the loop and as things come up, you can take care of them. That way you won’t be so flooded with work when you return.
Set up an office in your hotel room
Don’t put away all of your work when you reach your hotel room. Use the desk provided to set up all of your work. That will be your station where you can go to get some of your tasks done in between client meetings or other events you’re attending.
Bring along a work buddy
Sometimes, it takes two to stay motivated. Bring a work buddy along who also intends to work on the trip. Both of you can motivate each other to get tasks done. You can both create a list, talk about what each of you will do next and then work on your tasks together until completion. You might even want to have race to see who can get the task done quicker.
Whether you’re booking a flight, selecting a train ticket, or choosing the best route to drive, there are many options – and choosing the right one can give you loads more time to work. For instance, if you’re booking a flight try choosing a direct flight. If you need to have a layover, consider the benefits of stretching that time out so you have time to work. If you’re driving or taking a train, chances are you’ll want to minimize travel time to provide more working time. Look for the fastest trains and use Google Maps with traffic to find the best route.
Set a timer
If you have a two-hour layover and no motivation to work, you may want to try setting a timer. Set it up for 30 minutes, or 15 minutes if you’re really unmotivated. Work for that amount of time and then give yourself a break of the same amount. That way you still get something done, but you’re also giving in a little to your desire not to do anything.
Give these suggestions a try the next time you have to travel. You might just see how productive you can be on the go, and maybe even look forward to it when you get more done without the common distractions of an office environment.