Productivity Wednesday – Air Travel Tips, Fly Efficiently

The next time you have a flight that is more than an hour and a half, consider using it to get productive. As soon as “larger” electronic devices are allowed to be brought out, fire up your computer/tablet and connect to the Internet.

Get all your email boxes to zero, if you haven’t already. Open up your todo list application (like Things) and start knocking things off the list. If you don’t have a todo list application, start collecting your todos.

Once all that is done start writing.

This is particularly useful because in air wifi is notoriously poor. Making it suck for those evil distractions like Facebook, Slack, etc. However, it silence and focus is good for writing or responding.

It only requires the following:

  • Charge your device fully before boarding
  • Purchase WiFi if you don’t already get it for free

If you don’t have a device or just don’t want to get things done. I suggest reading a good book or taking a nap. Either will refresh you for whatever is ahead at your next destination.

Also published on Medium.


  1. Most of my flights are well under the hour-and-a-half mark, sadly. BUT; the same advice is just as useful for that “dead time” between check-in and boarding. Plus, the wifi is more likely to be free…

  2. I used to arrange my travel around this maximum productivity time on flights – but nowadays find that (aside from wifi increasingly free) ….
    a. if you don’t get the right seat / seatmate – it could just ruin the entire in-flight writing experience.
    b. 25% of the time, the person in front of me is so rude (bouncing in their seat, or reclining to the point where I cannot even type)… that I get zero work done.
    c. the pilot decides he is a tour guide and interrupts us every 6 mins with the description of some pretty cloud.
    d. I’m on a long international flight (planning to get 8 hours of uninterrupted writing done) – and they turn off the lights so people can sleep …. so my little overhead lamp (that I need to see the keyboard or papers) is like a lighthouse and people give me dirty looks till I shut it off.

    I used to look at air travel as the perfect way to get writing done … but in the last few years it has declined because of those reasons…. One day someone will just offer premium sensory-deprivation pods inside cafes, where I can be locked-in for a few hours to get writing done. Not a bad idea …

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