Optimizing business travel. Part 2.

Plan ahead to maximize productivity while on the road and minimize stress while in transit. Download everything you might need (do not count on connectivity), get everything fully charged (also bring a spare battery for your phone), and leave for airport early to avoid unnecessary stress.

Business Trip

Prepare to be offline

  • The Why: Using your devices in the airport and on the flight itself can often prove difficult. Making a plan ahead of time for how to remain productive without internet connectivity will help you keep you productive in situations where wifi connections are unpredictable.
  • Eliminate the frustrations of technology unknowns (Will you find an outlet to charge your devices? Will the plane have wifi? Will you have room to open your laptop at your seat?) by planning out how to accomplish some of your pressing to-do’s the old fashioned way: pen and paper. Consider what you might be able to start brainstorming, or emails you can draft, so that you remain focused on getting tasks done while travelling but won’t be stressed if you can’t break out your laptop mid-flight.
  • Prepare others for your travel day. If there are loved ones or business partners who might be looking to get in contact with you, make sure to let them know ahead of time that you might be unreachable on your travel day. This manages expectations and cuts down on the chance of dealing with added stress and frustration of settling this miscommunication once you land.
  • Use the plane time to catch up on some learning. Whether you close your eyes or enjoy the view out the window, podcasts are a great way to pass the time while actively engaging your brain. Do not forget to download podcasts before you leave for the airport!

Leave yourself plenty of time for pre-travel day-of (and manage expectations).

  • The Why: stress caused by fear of not getting to your gate on time can weaken your immune system (increasing the risk of you catching a bug) and mood (setting a negative tone for the rest of the trip).
  • There’s nothing more disruptive to keeping a solid mental game than stressing about getting to the airport in time. If you know you’re especially prone to pre-travel anxiety, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, through security, and to your gate. We all hate the waiting game, but it sure beats an anxiety-ridden rush through the airport as your name booms over the loudspeakers for last call.
  • Pro-tip: consider what you might want to get done if you get to your gate early (perhaps a long-overdue journal entry, or a call to your mother). That way, if you do end up with extra time it feels like a productivity treat instead of a frustration.