With the help of some serious business-travellers, we’ve compiled five business travel hacks to boost productivity whilst on the road.
1. List making
Whether it’s a packing list or a to-do list for you flight, making lists will destress you and improve your focus. The act of getting something out of your head and writing it on paper (or in your smart phone) externalises that thought and allows you to focus on the most important aspects of your business trip. Clouding your judgement and potential decision making skills with the worries of forgotten items and future tasks is detrimental to your efficiency and makes for a pretty rubbish trip.
2. Working on board
There are arguments for and against working on board. Yes, it’s important to get some rest so you can hit the ground running, but it depends on the length of the journey and what time you’re departing. A great way of keeping the balance is by developing an on board routine that you can implement on the different types of trips you’ll have. If you’re going to rest on the journey, do it with purpose so you get the most out of relaxing.
There’s nothing worse than half doing work and getting frustrated with yourself. If it’s a night trip, get that food down you quickly and sleep until you land (ideally). If it’s a day flight, or you desperately need to do some work, write a to-do list before you get on board and make sure you have all the kit you need out of your bag (and in your seat-side pocket) before you take of.
If you make the rookie error of “oh, just one movie before I work,” it’s game over for the rest of the flight! It sounds like a small thing, but having your laptop (or notes) out of your bag is a small cornerstone habit that can have a big impact your productivity for the rest of the flight.
3. Airport lounges
A bit of lounge-time before your flight can do wonders for your efficiency. They’ve got food, drink and better yet, areas where you can get work done. Give yourself an extra hour at the airport to make the lounge visit worthwhile, then write that to do list and hydrate for the flight ahead.
Obviously this means you have to have lounge access, which isn’t issue if you’re constantly travelling First or Business class. If you’re turning right when you get on the plane, then you’ll either need to pay for lounge access, or you can sign up to one of the many lounge access groups such as ‘Lounge Club,’ ‘Lounge Pass,’ or ‘Priority Pass.’
4. Focussed accommodation
It’s important to choose accommodation based on a number of reasons, but have you ever considered productivity? More and more there are hotels focussed on ‘working remotely’ which may have practical reasons for their layouts. Hotels can be designed for relaxation or productivity and it’s important to bear this in mind when choosing where you’re staying.
Entering a luxury hotel fit for holidaying will result in your brain switching to “relax mode,” and it may not be the best for productivity. Balance is important, but it’s also great finding those spots that will get you working at your best. Bright and spacious bedrooms not only have a positive impact on your sleep, but when you wake, the natural lighting will help with increased focus and it boosts those endorphins.
5. Implement your old routines
Nothing throws productivity than a change in routines and having to adapt to a new place. An easy way to battle this is by taking a few of your old routines from home to the hotel. These could be eating plans, exercise routines or particular work habits.
If you always have filter coffee in the morning then do the same thing at your hotel (or carry coffee filter packs with you); if you exercise at a particular time at home, then do the same at your hotel (or if there’s no gym then go for a walk or run); if you have a particular set up for your work space then arrange your desk in the same way at the hotel. Again, these are small cornerstone changes but they have a surprising impact on your productivity and will make that Business trip a lot more worthwhile.