A long flight can either be a tremendous waste of time or a great opportunity to get some work done. It all comes down to your state of mind. Of course, to get some real work done, you'll want to make sure you're properly prepared to make the absolute best use of your time. Here are our top tips to getting work done on your next long flight.
Before You Buy Your Ticket
To make the most out of your in-flight work time, you'll want to make sure you get a seat that is conducive to getting things done. You'll want a few things for the best possible seat, but the most important one is space. If you barely have room to breathe, you're not going to get much work done. Check out airlines with the best legroom or spring for an upgrade to a roomier spot.
Aside from as much space as you can muster, there are a few other things that will help transform your seat into a workspace in the sky. One is Wi-Fi. Check if your flight has inflight Wi-Fi available, and if not prepare ahead of time by investing in a portable Wi-Fi router, like the Skyroam Solis.
Finally, you're going to want a seat near a power outlet if available. This means that not only don't you have to worry about running out of power in the air, but you'll be fully charged when you land as well. If power outlets aren't available on your flight, pack up your portable power station.
Once you've purchased your ticket, it's time to get prepared. Whether you have access to a power outlet, inflight Wi-Fi, or the portable version of both, it's better to act as if you won't have them just in case your plans change. Emergencies happen so don't rely too much these being available.
This means you'll want to make sure you have any files you'll need for your work downloaded. Even if you're not sure you'll need something, it's better to have and not need it than the other way around.
This extends to your email as well. If you use an email client like Outlook, you can use a menu option to work offline. This downloads your email so you won't need an internet connection to read it. Then you can reply and these emails will go out when you go back online. If you use Gmail, you can enable the Gmail offline feature to do the same thing.
You'll also want to make sure all your tech gear is fully charged. This includes you computer, phone, and tablet, as well as any accessories you might be using. Even if you're sure you'll have an outlet nearby, it can't hurt to start off fully charged.
Get to Work
After you've taken your seat, the first thing you'll want to do is plan out your time. Note when the flight is expected to land so you know how much time you have. Ask the flight attendants when refreshments or meals are going to be served so you're not unexpectedly interrupted.
You'll also want to avoid distractions. What's the point of setting your flight time aside to get some work done if you spend most of it watching a bad movie? This means you'll want to make sure you don't turn on the TV on the back of the seat in front of you.
In addition to these types of distractions, you'll want to block out other distractions like crying babies or the loud snorer two seats behind you. For this, a quality set of noise-canceling headphones is key. You can listen to music if you'd like or just use them to keep your mind on the work at hand.
Once you've finished your work, you're free to enjoy the rest of the flight or even get ahead on some other tasks.