Whether its the baby crying two rows down from you or the constant struggle for arm-rest space, staying productive during flights is no easy task. If you’re a traveling businessman it’s imperative to make sure your time spent on the plane isn’t wasted. These three tips won’t work for everyone but try your best to mix and match and most of all, stay productive.

1. Prepare for the Worst

Unless you fly private or first class, it’s important to always prepare for the worst. More often than not, if you’re flying economy or economy plus you won’t have any choice in who you’re sitting next to. You may end up next to a 500 lb. sumo wrestler for all you know. That being said, it’s important to prepare for any scenario. Here are some suggestions:

  • Laptop and Tablet: Typically a smartphone is a bit too small to get work done. Make sure you equip your laptop and tablet with the materials necessary to stay productive. In various cases, one will be more useful than the other so stay prepared.
  • Back-up Charger: Flights get cancelled and delayed all the time. In addition to fully charging your devices, bring along a back-up charger just in case.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones: Load up your devices with your favorite tunes and use these headphone to cancel out any background noise. If your ears are sensitive, make sure you get the headphones (not in ear) instead of the earphones.
  • Travel Pillow: If you have trouble working on planes regardless of the situation, then use this as a time to catch up on sleep.

2. (No Need to) Dress to Impress

Unless you’re heading straight into a meeting coming off the plane there’s no need to dress in business attire. Wear comfortable clothes while you travel as you can always keep a change of clothes close by in your carry on luggage. If you want to stay productive you need to limit any and all possible distractions.  If you’re uncomfortable I can guarantee you will be substantially less productive during your flight. Some airlines even have places to hang your suit during the flight, so throw on a t-shirt and sweatpants and get to work!

3. Request Premier Service

Depending on your client or company you should always request the best possible service. Best case scenario you get to fly first or business class. If that’s not possible there are plenty of other ways to maximize your experience flying coach. If you are fine sitting still for most of the flight, request a window seat. This gives you a bit more room as you can lean against the window and you won’t have to move when someone else in your row needs to exit. You can also request to sit in the bulkhead (the first row in economy) this will give you extra legroom and often times is very cheap to upgrade.

With businesses rapidly expanding across borders, flying has become a huge part of any businessman or woman. Use these three tips to stay productive while flying.


I'm Chalmers and I'm the Co-Founder and CTO of Due.com.

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