Productivity becomes a little more difficult when you’re on the move. You’re dealing with limited resources and may lack some of the tools you have at home. You also probably have an irregular schedule compared to your normal day back at home. What’s more, traveling can impact everything from your usual diet to your sleep schedule, and the amount of exercise that you get.
Fortunately, technology is on our side. ironically, while smartphones can be a distraction, mobile applications and other technology have also made it easier than ever to remain productive when you’re traveling.
5 Ways to be Productive While Traveling
Whether you’re traveling for work, or you’re just trying to make the most of your limited time in a new location, you need to know how to remain productive.
1. Plan ahead for your trip
Some people prefer to take everything as it comes when traveling, but you can easily waste valuable time if your trip is limited. That’s why planning ahead is essential. If you’re traveling for work, you’ll make sure that you don’t miss a flight, meeting, or conference by plugging everything into your calendar.
If you’re traveling for leisure, planning ahead is equally important. You don’t necessarily need to schedule every minute of your day if it’s going to stress you out, but you should absolutely have at least a general plan. For example, if you’re going to New York without a plan, you could find yourself wasting hours traveling between Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown Manhattan.
2. Look for similar activities or those located close to each other
Whatever your reason for travel, you can make the most of your time by looking for opportunities to group similar items together when you’re coming up with your plan.
For example, if you need to complete research and statistical analysis for a meeting, schedule those activities in close proximity to the meeting itself. If you need to join a videoconference, do so from the train or plane.
In some cases, you’ll save time by attending to important activities during downtime, such as in the latter example. In other cases, you’ll see a natural productivity boost by working on similar items close together, which reduces the amount of mental energy (executive functioning) required.
3. Plan your trip around your most productive hours
If you’re already aware of your chronotype, then you know when you work best. Your chronotype is just that; the hours of the day when you’re asleep vs. most productive and alert. Experts have identified four main chronotypes: the bear, the wolf, the lion, and the dolphin.
- Bears: These people tend to follow the natural solar cycle, sleeping between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., and completing their best work in the early hours of the day when energy levels are still at their highest.
- Wolves: Wolves tend to sleep a little later than bears, enjoying a natural productivity boost later in the day. They’re particularly creative in the early afternoon and evening.
- Lions: Lions have an enviable ability to wake up early in the day and dive straight into complex work. Unfortunately, they suffer from the afternoon slump more than their counterparts.
- Dolphins: Dolphins take longer to take up in the morning, completing their best work in the late morning and early afternoon.
When you understand your chronotype, you can plan and schedule your trip around your most productive hours. Depending on your reason for traveling, this might vary.
For example, if you’re a dolphin, the worst thing you could do is attend a participation conference at 09:00 when your brain is still trying to wake up. If you’re a lion, tackling complex tasks after a big lunch could prove difficult.
So, if you’re traveling from one city to another and have a report to write, schedule your train journey on your most productive day. You’ll be more likely to make the most of your natural energy.
4. Synchronize your devices and accounts
Nothing could be worse than planning ahead for your whole trip on the computer, only to realize when you get there that your phone isn’t synchronized. So, make sure that you link your desktop and mobile apps before traveling.
5. Use time-blocking techniques to maximize your time
Thinking about traveling with a notepad and a pen to plan your time? While it’s better than “winging it,” you’re better off ditching the paper and turning to a digital planner in a method known as time blocking.
Users of time blocking have reported saving numerous hours during their day by identifying key tasks, designating them to specific “blocks” of time, and focusing on one task at a time.
- List out your tasks. When you’re planning ahead for your trip, list all of the tasks that you need to complete, whether they’re for work or leisure.
- Group your tasks. Next, group your tasks where they naturally fit together and relate to one another. You should also bear in mind geographical location, ensuring that any tasks or activities in the same area are grouped together.
- Estimate your tasks. Work out how long you’ll need to complete each task or attend each event on your schedule.
- Create time blocks for each task. Next, turn to your digital planner. Carve out blocks of time for each individual task or activity, inserting them into your schedule for the days or weeks ahead.
- Leave enough time for travel or switching focus. You should give yourself some buffer time, around 5-10 minutes, on either side of your tasks so that you have time to switch focus and open any apps or documents you need. Make sure that you leave enough time for travel if there’s a distance between one physical activity and the next, too.
Akiflow: Travel Productivity Made Simple
There’s a lot to think about when preparing for a trip. Fortunately, you can simplify everything we’ve outlined above by using a time management application.
Akiflow can make sure that you remain productive on your trip by giving you access to your planner and task list in a single, central location. With its vast range of features, Akiflow will help you will:
- Plan ahead for your trip:
- Group similar activities together:
- Plan your trip around your most productive hours
- Synchronize your devices and accounts
- Use time blocking to maximize your time.
Our built-in digital planner works just like any other calendar, such as Outlook or Google Calendar, but the numerous enhancements will simplify your time management and present everything in an accessible format.
You can create a schedule for your trip with the planner, blocking out time for each individual activity. Tasks are contained within a universal task list, and you can simply drag a task into your calendar to designate a time slot. Even creating new tasks is quick and easy when you use the predictive keyboard shortcuts.
When you’re on the move, time management is crucial. That’s why Akiflow will notify you of important upcoming events. Our users can save up to 2 hours every day by managing their time through Akiflow, and you can get started for free.