Good stuff, Jason. A few observations on packing - try to pack light. It makes a BIG difference. For long trips consider having laundry done to keep you light and sprite. Also, I try to wear layers rather than carry big bulky clothes. I still struggle with jet lag on intercontinental flights. Any tips?
Six Changes I Made to Improve My Productivity on Airplanes
In 2010, I was on +120 flights. I’ve arrived to airports early (earlier than necessary) with too much luggage (checked in London and Zurich) and too much food (after 6 hours in the air, half-eaten sandwiches still in a bag).
Over the past 10 years of this travel pace and lifestyle, here are some of the things I’ve learned:
1. Charge it…all
Save yourself time (and possibly money): Create a checklist of “power” equipment you travel with. Review that list right before you fall asleep the night before you leave home, and make sure you’ve got them charging. I have ONE place in my home office where everything gets plugged in to, and it’s on the same counter as my keys and wallet. Here’s an idea: charge everything you’re going to need, and put it all next to your car keys so you make sure to pack it in your carry on before driving to the airport. (Oh, I do the same thing in the hotel room the night before traveling back home!)
2. Pack Cards, Envelopes and Stamps
You probably know, I write at least one thank you or greeting card each and every day. Between the time the gate agent closes the aircraft door, and the plane is over 10,000 feet off the ground (ie: time I’m not reading my kindle, on my laptop or watching a TED.com talk on my iPad!) I can generally write 2-4 cards. (Oh, and it’s usually a great conversation starter with the person sitting next to me!)
3. Bring a complete meal
The airplane “might” have food. Because Jodi’s a vegetarian (and life is just better when we travel together) we always pack a complete meal or two. Sure the short trip are usually ok, I have a Balance bar or somethin’ and a bag of nuts from Trader Joe’s. The long-haul (for me, anything more than 5 hours) I’ve got to have more. A sandwich, a salad, a bottle of water…you get it! I do buy all of this inside the terminal at each airport (love JFK, terminal 8!) just ’cause it’s easier. Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but easier…
4. Have a business card handy
Spend 1-12 hours sitting next to me on a plane, and I’m bound to meet you. Sometimes it’s a short, “Hi there…heading out or going home?” But, many times it turns into a longer conversation. Whenever I meet new people, I’m listening for the kinds of things they are interested in, and how I can learn and gain from that conversation. If they recommend a book, a Web site or a speaker, I like to follow up with them after I’ve taken some actions. Bring a business card, met someone and build your professional network.
5. Pen(s) and a note pad
So, I’m a fast typist (oh, 40-50 words a minute) but sometimes my most productive work sessions have come from “splashing ink.” This is what I call brainstorming, mindmapping or idea-ating. I travel with a medium sized Moleskine journal, and it’s always out while I’m flying…Just in case I need to write something down.
6. Exit Row Aisle
The “mega-tip” here is: Drink more water. I flew on over 120 flights last year alone, that’s a lot of time, next to a lot of people. One of the ways I believe I stay healthy is by drinking a LOT of water while I fly. Having a seat in the exit row, on the aisle, makes it SO easy to get up when I have to go to the “loo.”
BONUS #1: Buy extra charging cords, that “stay” in your luggage/carry on luggage. Keep one plugged in at home, and the other one always travels with you.
BONUS #2: Bose headphones … they make the difference on the flights (or hotel room) where there is a “screamer” next to you!
- OK, it’s your turn. What travel tip did I miss? Let’s get four more and make this a David Letterman “Top 10″ list!
Learn more about the author, Jason Womack.
Comment on this article
Posted by Paul Yandell, Claremont, California |
Feb 21, 2011
Posted by Jason Womack, Ojai, California |
Feb 21, 2011
I fly "across the pond" 5-8 times per year. Here's my own trick (though I'm sure other people have more!):
- I drink a LOT of water on the flight.
- I fly over night, and sleep as much as possible.
- I sleep (3-5 hours) when I get to the hotel, then go to dinner, then sleep until the next morning.
Has worked for the past 10 years!
Posted by Lisa Peake, Los Angeles, California |
Feb 21, 2011
Great tips, Jason! I especially love the card writing idea as it adds a personal touch to travel.
I have a couple ideas to add in the realm of packing:
1) Always use a travel checklist when you pack (going out and coming back). This has saved me from the headache of missing chargers, overlooking clothing items, and I always remember those essential Bose headphones.
2) Similar to Bonus #1 about extra charging cords, I also keep a complete duplicate of my toiletries - i.e. one toothbrush for home and one labeled "travel" - saves time on packing and unpacking, while I still get my same quality supplies wherever I go.
Posted by Frank Roche, Raynham, Massachusetts |
Feb 21, 2011
Jason, you are a very bright guy if you are not very successful at what you do you sure will be!!!!!!!!!! KEEP ATTACKING
- road warrior
- workplace performance
- time management
- focus management
- to do list
- most important things