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10 Tips for Being Super Productive On Your Next Flight Don't let the stress of traveling keep you from doing your best work.

By Nina Zipkin

entrepreneur daily

If you travel a lot for business, you know that even the shortest flights can take up a good chunk of time. There's the time spent traveling to and from the airport, the time spent going through security, the time spent waiting in the terminal. And don't even get us started on the time spent waiting for your bag.

These trips are meant to help you advance your company, but if you feel like you're constantly in limbo, how can you focus long enough to get anything done?

Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of your time in the air and hit the ground running once you land.

Related: The 10 Biggest Productivity Killers and How to Overcome Them


Stay hydrated and brown bag it.

Traveling is tiring no matter how well in advance you plan. Making sure you drink enough water will make you feel more awake and help prevent you from getting sick. If you know you have to get a big project done, pack yourself a meal and some snacks that you know will keep you to keep you going so you won't have to rely on what the airport or airline has to offer.

Read more: Don't Let Jet Lag Hurt Your Productivity


Make sure you can work without the Internet.

Airplane Wi-Fi is notoriously spotty, so don't be caught off guard if your internet cuts out mid-flight. When you're going through your to-do list, make sure you download all the documents you need ahead of time and set aside work you can do without being connected, like writing emails to send once you land.

Read more: 6 Ways to Make Your Next Business Trip More Productive

Keep your devices charged.

It may seem like a simple task, but in your effort to get from A to B, it's easy to forget that your laptop-with-everything-on-it needs some juice to stay alive. Remember to put your devices in airplane mode to save battery and travel with your device chargers. You might also want to bring your own power strip; if you're lucky enough to find a free outlet in a busy airport, you could help a fellow traveler out, too.

Read more: 15 Conference Travel Tips to Reduce Stress and Save Time and Money.


Don't just keep your head down.

Your inclination is to get as much work in as possible, but you never know who you'll be seated next to you on the plane or who will need to share that outlet with you in the airport. Keep your business cards at the ready because your neighbor could offer you some intriguing advice or become a potential partner, customer or friend.

Read more: 5 Changes I Made to Improve My Productivity While Traveling


Get some exercise.

You can't pay attention to work if you're sluggish or exhausted. Even if you only can do some laps around the terminal before you board, run up and down a flight of stairs or stretch your legs up and down the aisle of the plane while en route to your destination, do what you can to keep your blood pumping and keep the stress to a minimum

Read more: How a Two-Minute Stroll Around the Office Can Save Your Life

Get busy work out of the way before you get on the road.

Don't spend your time in the air doing busy work like filling out forms or rearranging your calendar. On the plane you're largely away from the quotidian distractions that crop up in your office, so devote your attention to a big project or fleshing out a new idea.

Read more: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Stay Sharp on the Road

Set goals for yourself.

What do you want to accomplish by the end of the flight? When you make your itinerary and book all your travel, also make a list of the tasks you want to complete before you land and check them off as you go. And do the most important item first.

Read more: 7 Habits to Work Proactively, Not Reactively


Block out your time.

Once you have your priorities in order, next to each item, estimate how long you each task will take. Develop a system that works best for you – i.e., working 40 minutes and then taking a 20 minute break. You'll soon get into a rhythm that will help keep you focused.

Read more: 20 Ways to Make This Week the Most Productive Yet


Calm your nerves.

Many people are nervous fliers – heights, enclosed spaces, iffy air pressure – they can all take a toll and make the most confident person uneasy. If you have worst-case scenarios running through your head as your taking off, work may be the last thing on your mind. But remember to take a breath, calm your mind and channel that nervous energy into doing a great job.

Read more: 7 Ways to Think Differently About Fear

Take a break.

Whether your flight is three hours or 13, you can't work nonstop – before long, you'll start to see your concentration and quality of work suffer. Instead of mindlessly going down an Internet wormhole or flipping through the SkyMall for a third time, do something more creative. Look out the window and listen to favorite playlist for a few minutes, bring a sketchbook or journal with you, work out your brain with a Sudoku game or just meditate.

Read more: Can Creative Breaks Boost Your Employees' Productivity?

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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