Being on the road means there is a lot of potential for hours of wasted time travelling between destinations. Given that we are always working at maximum capacity, this means I either have to fall behind on my deadlines or figure out how to maximise every second.
In the attempt to achieve the latter, I’ve developed a checklist and system of working that aims to ensure I don’t waste a single second. It goes a little like this…
- Make a list of everything that needs to be completed over the working period and allocate timings for each; place these into appropriate slots in calendar. For instance, focus on longer pieces of work that require sustained concentration during the flight; and save shorter pieces of work for those times when there are only 15 mins or so available, such as when waiting for a meeting to turn up or for the airline gate to open…
- Factor in time to eat, drink, sleep and relax
- Download any documents needed onto laptop that will enable offline working while on trains and in the air
- Ensure both laptop and phone are fully charged before leaving the house – there are never any plug sockets when you need one!
- Print off relevant documents and/or pack required reading materials for when standing in queues and it is not possible to use laptop, such as when waiting to board / go through customs
- Save all important contact details before leaving, which cuts out the need to search through emails on your phone around; make calls while walking to meetings, through airports/train stations etc.
It requires a small investment of time the day before travelling but means that not only am I able to be productive, but makes the whole experience much less stressful – after all who wants to be worrying about what they’ve not done/got to do, when they should be concentrating on other stuff?