Travel: The New Way to Be Productive
Almost every article discussing productivity, especially tips for increasing it, mentions some version of getting up from your desk and moving around. Some experts suggest taking a walk, others stretching and others just a quick trip to the water cooler. AJ Agrawal takes this advice a few steps further in his article How to Travel to Improve Your Productivity. He suggests travel as a tool for increasing productivity, and that it is the best tool away from your desk.
Agrawal's main idea is that time away from work, unplugged and focused on your destination, will rev up your creativity and the best way to accomplish this is with a travel agent.
Here are our top three suggestions for leveraging your travel to increase productivity:
1. Take some time away from wifi, but not the entire time. Use spotty internet connections, landings and take-offs and cab rides as an opportunity to unplug. Instead of catching up on emails, social media or news, take those windows of time to notice what's around you. Engage all your senses. The productivity magic of travel, just like getting up from your desk and walking away, is the change of scenery and time away from a screen. Give your mind an opportunity to let the dust settle. Then you can get back to work.
2. Pack as efficiently as you want to work. In theory, between an office, computer, phone, paper archives and colleagues, you have all the resources you need to do your job. One of the biggest challenges of travel is staying connected to all the people and information you need to continue to do your job well. Think ahead to every meeting, project and task you want to accomplish while you're away. What things or situations do you need to have or create in order to actually do all of that with ease? Write a list. Make it happen.
3. Step outside your travel routine. Especially when traveling for business, many of us get in a travel rut. You go from place to place, check into hotels, eat at restaurants (hopefully not at the airport) and maybe take in a few sights if they're on the way to your destination. Boring. And nothing kills productivity like boredom. Shake up your routine by choosing one sight, restaurant, or activity that intrigues you at each location. Bonus points if it's off the beaten path and atypical. Find something that fascinates you and indulge. If you're about to use the excuse that you don't have time to research your location, we can all agree google makes that excuse irrelevant.
We think it's safe to say traveling is the new walk around the block.
How do you stay efficient and engaged on the road?
P.S. Here's an article with a few additional foolproof travel tips.