Being ultra-productive on your next plane trip
How much time do you waste on an airplane?
Frustrating isn’t it? Between the layovers, delays, and rerouting, it’s enough to make you scream. Well, before you lose it, here are some ways to save your day and actually be more productive, no matter what the airline throws at you.
How to avoid hunger pangs
Let’s face it: when you’re hungry, you’re not going to be getting much work done. And, when you’re flying, you’re on the airline’s schedule, not your own. Here’s how to switch that around: brown bag it. Also, bring your own water or get some at the airport that you can bring with you on your flight.
Alternatively, eat a huge meal before your flight so that you’re not hungry for the trip. You could also pack a small snack to tide you over between meals. If you make it a high-protein meal, you’ll stay satiated for longer. Think nuts, jerky, anything that contains a good deal of protein, fat, or both.
How to avoid jetlag
When you’re sleepy, about the only thing you can think about is sleep. But, let’s say you actually need to get some work done on the plane. Sleep during the day before your flight and check the local time zones in the place where you’ll be staying.
If you know you’ll be three hours behind after the flight, for example, you may want to sleep an addition 4 to 6 hours the day before, or take frequent naps. When you arrive in the new time zone, take it easy and try to get to bed on time, paying attention to the local time. Your body will probably feel a bit “off,” but that’s OK. It’s important to adjust to the new time as quickly as possible.
And, while you’re on the plane, you’ll actually be able to get something done, since you effectively “overslept.” You probably won’t have to worry about having a beverage or two with caffeine, either, if it will help you wake up a little.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep on the first night in the new time zone, go to the drug store and pick up a microdose of melatonin. It’s a hormone that’s sold over the counter that will help you fall asleep naturally. Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body produces at night. But, when you’re traveling to a new time zone, your body may be thrown off. The supplemental melatonin may help bumpstart your normal sleep cycle.
Work without the Internet
The Wi-Fi on a plane is notoriously spotty, so don’t rely on it. Most planes still don’t offer wifi onboard anyway. If you need to work on something online, try to do it while you’re still on the ground. Otherwise, wait until you’ve landed.
Charge your devices
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to work on your laptop and having it die on you right in the middle of typing. Make sure your electronics are all charged so there will be no problems making phone calls, writing up that report, or sending emails.
Most airports have charging stations that make this a no-brainer. Charging devices can be just one of 30 things I recommend to kill time at airports.
Get Some Exercise Before Your Flight
If you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, it might behoove you to get out for a walk or something before you board. It will get your blood pumping. And, if it’s early in the morning, it will help keep you awake during a long flight where the temptation is to just lean back and go back to sleep.
Take Time Out
Don’t get so busy that you forget to take breaks. A good way to solve the never-ending workday, and be more productive, is to block off time and punctuate work with rest periods. For example, the pomodoro method is an excellent way to schedule your workday, and stay on task, even when you have a long flight.
You can set your pomodoro timer for 20 or 30 minutes, take a break, and then get back to work and feel more energized when it’s time to focus and get stuff done. The frequent breaks this method employs will help keep you from getting burned out.
Most people find that work sessions of between 20 and 30 minutes work best, with breaks lasting 10 to 15 minutes. But, you can also work up to 50 or 60 minutes at a time, with a 20 to 30 minute break between work sessions.