Do you fly often for your career?
Does your local airport feel like your living room? Do the TSA agents comment when you’ve gotten a haircut?
If so, you may be on the road too much. This Time Tactics LeaderSnip for taking control of the time you have will be valuable to you whether you travel excessively, or occasionally. It’s about that time in the plane.
You may be expecting me to talk about how to get your work done, your notes for the upcoming meeting prepared or working through the snarls in your financial projections while you’re zipping along at 30,000 feet. No – most of the time, that’s not what I’ll be recommending.
What’s coming up may sound like time management heresy, but it’s not. I want to help you be more productive, more efficient, and more successful in your job—that’s true. But even more important—you need to live well and that means you need some “down-time.” Being stuck on a plane, way up high, is a perfect opportunity for some needed down-time.
I usually do not recommend working on an airplane.
Although flying and working sounds like an efficient use of time, it may also make you a prime candidate for burn-out, and you will dread the flights. You’re still working, and now you’re doing it uncomfortably—in a cramped plane, that’s either too cold or hot, and without a good place to put your coffee (or whatever.) If you will discipline yourself to be more organized before you get on the plane, you will not need to use that time for work. What a great idea! Work toward getting your work done AHEAD of time! We use to do that—before faxes, and emails and all the other technology that let us wait until the last minute.
Convince yourself that you will not be “allowed” to work on the plane and you will get that work done before you go through security at the airport. Instead of Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoints, fire up your Kindle or iPad and read the book you’ve been promising that you’ll get too. Or play the newest game, or watch the movie that everyone else has been talking about.
By using the air time as a reward for your organizational work in preparing for the trip, the time will go faster and you may actually look forward to the long flights instead of dreading them. You need to have a little fun. You just left a hectic work situation and may be heading into another one. Use the time in-between—the flying time to take care of what you “want” for yourself instead of tending to what others may want from you.
The only exception to this is on transoceanic flights or red-eyes—when you are supposed to be sleeping. Then pack, in addition to your fun reading, one of the latest (but probably tedious) industry information books that you know you should read, but are really not looking forward to tackling. When you know you should be getting some sleep, just open that book and very soon, it will be nap time! It may take four trips to Europe to finish that book, but eventually you’ll finish it…while you’re using it as a cure for insomnia!