In today’s world, traveling for business is a regular occurrence for many people. Companies often have other branches and clients in different cities – or even countries – and employees can be expected to journey between them.
Traveling is time-consuming, and many people use the opportunity to work. This reduces the need to work at the destination, opportunity to catch up on smaller tasks, such as sending emails.
However, staying focused can often be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you stay productive when traveling.
Laptops and tablets are essential pieces of kit for the working traveller. You may well plan on charging your device up en route, but beware – there are plenty of opportunities for this plan to go wrong. Not every form of transport will have on-board power sockets – and even if they do, they might be taken or broken.
It’s best to take your own portable power supply with you, just in case. Invest in a portable battery for your device – make sure it’s compatible with your device, and don’t forget to charge it up before you leave home.
Similarly, try not to rely on public WIFI – which is both notoriously expensive and unreliable. Instead, pick up a WIFI hotspot device, and use it to generate your own internet on the move. Check your phone before you head out to the shop – some smartphones have this capacity built in.
Of course, the best laid plans can go awry, so make sure you won’t be completely crippled if the internet vanishes. Download any crucial files and emails before leaving home, and pack a notepad and pen.
Keep it Simple
Don’t be tempted to bring along every electronic device you own. Doing this can significantly increase waiting times at airport security – you’ll often have to remove them from your bag, and wait while they’re hand-checked by a staff member.
Having too many devices can also hamper your workflow. Unless you’re very lucky, you’re not likely to have much room when traveling, and a cluttered workstation will only counter your productivity. Keep it simple – a laptop or tablet and a phone should be ample.
Manage Your Time
Use your time wisely. Short periods of time are perfect for small tasks, such as sending emails – don’t waste these moments, as they soon add up. It’s also important to know exactly how long you have during each section of your journey – there’s no use setting up your laptop in the departure lounge if the gate is opening in ten minutes.
The best way to collate all of this information is to use an app, such as Tripit. These can produce a detailed itinerary – including waiting times and weather forecasts – from your confirmation emails.
Don’t Wait Around
As mentioned above, small periods of time can quickly add up. However, it’s not possible to work in some situations – such as when standing in a queue. Try to minimize these unproductive waiting times as much as possible when traveling.
If you’re flying, try to manage with a carry-on bag, and check-in online beforehand. This means you won’t have to queue to check in, or collect your bags when you land. Bring food and drink with you, rather than waiting in long queues to buy it in transit. Finally, don’t rush to be first on the plane – they take a while to fill up, especially with larger planes, and you won’t be able to use your electronic devices until you’re safely up in the air.
Some people find it challenging to work whilst traveling. There are several common culprits – unfamiliar surroundings, background noise and changing modes of transport can all prove distracting.
To stay productive on your journey, make sure you have access to power and WIFI if needed, stay organized, and minimize waiting times. Follow these top tips the next time you travel, and enjoy a boost in productivity.
This article was written by Matt Everard of Barrington International Freight, a family run logistics company.
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