Whether you’re lucky enough to have a private jet at your disposal or you are stuck in cattle class like the rest of us, travel is a major time sap. Long-haul travel is even worse, and you will typically lose a few days of your life. It probably won’t matter if you don’t have anything useful to do, but if you are running a business or this is a business trip, it is essential that you maintain productivity as much as possible.
Here are five ways to make your next flight more productive.
Upgrade Where Possible
The best way to make a flight more bearable is to upgrade to a premium seat. Business Class and First-Class seats have more room and you are less likely to be elbowed in the ribs by a super-size passenger in the next seat. On some airlines, you may also have access to free Wi-Fi if you travel in Business or First Class, so you can browse RageMaker.net, check your social media feeds or download emails.
Busy executives often travel Business Class as standard, hence the name, but if your company can’t or won’t pay for an upgrade, look at using air miles or check-in nice and early in case the flight is sold out in economy, as the airline might offer you a free upgrade if you’re a frequent flyer.
Book a Spot in an Executive Lounge
You don’t need to be an executive flyer to book a spot in an executive lounge. Most lounges are pay-as-you-go. Once inside, you can work in peace, take advantage of complimentary food and drink, and even have a shower if you’re feeling grubby.
Invest in Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise is a big problem on airplanes. Noise levels in airline cabins often exceed 85 decibels at cruising speed, which is significant when you are used to working in a quiet office. Noise canceling headphones won’t eliminate excessive sound completely, but they will make it easier to bear, thus allowing you to work in comparative peace.
Take Your Laptop on Board
It may sound obvious, but the best way to be productive on a flight is to take your laptop with you. Invest in a lightweight laptop, such as a MacBook Air. Prepare a list of tasks you can do while you’re at the airport or in the air but be sensible – even with the best will in the world, there is only so much you can accomplish on a flight.
Download Documents on to an e-Reader
If working on a laptop is not an option, download documents on to an e-reader. Most e-readers can handle PDFs and if you use a tablet with a suitable app installed, you may be able to annotate documents or make edits.
Pack a Notebook
Don’t forget to do it the old-fashioned way, too. Pack a notebook and some pens. Make notes, plan projects, and flesh out ideas on paper. Yes, you may have to transfer your notes into digital form when you land, but at least if you have a brilliant idea at 10,000 feet, it won’t be lost to the fog of jet lag when you land.