Flying internationally means that you have plenty of time to get work done during your flights. However, being on a plane comes with its own set of challenges for those who want to focus on work, such as talkative seat mates, shrinking seat space and general distractions on planes. You might also be tempted to watch the in-flight movie or TV shows instead of firing up your laptop. Keep the following tips in mind to help you stay focused and block out distractions, so you can get work done while flying.
Protect Your Privacy
With less and less seat space, it’s understandable to worry about your seat mates being able to easily see what you’re working on. If you’re concerned about protecting your privacy while doing work, consider getting a privacy screen or filter for your laptop. These filters are available in different sizes, so you can get one that perfectly fits on your laptop screen. Putting one of these on your screen means that you can get work done with peace of mind.
Switch to a Tablet
You don’t need to lug a bulky laptop with you while traveling. Switching to a tablet when you’re flying lets you travel lighter while still being able to do all of your work on the plane. Using a smaller tablet rather than a laptop is also easier and less frustrating if the person in front of you reclines their seat. When you work on a tablet, you can save all of your work to the cloud, so you can access it again when you’re back on your laptop.
Block Out Noise
If airplane noise, such as people talking or the engines running, are distracting for you, invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to wear during your flight. These headphones block out noise around you, so that you can stay focused on work. Seat mates might also be less likely to try to start up a conversation with you if they see you wearing a pair of headphones.
Set Realistic Work Goals
If possible, work on tasks that will be easier for you to do while flying. For example, leave more in-depth or mentally demanding work for when you’re in your hotel room instead of trying to tackle it on the plane. You'll be able to concentrate more with fewer distractions around at your hotel. Plan on doing lighter tasks that aren’t as challenging, such as replaying to email messages or doing some initial research for a project.
Skip the Personal Distractions
As soon as you’re able to use your laptop or tablet on your flight, get started on work. Don’t turn on the TV in front of you or start watching the in-flight movie, even if you tell yourself you’ll only watch for a little bit. You should also avoid checking social media or playing any games on your tablet or phone, since these can easily keep you from digging into your work.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use your tablet or laptop while the plane is taking off and landing. Use this time to do something relaxing, such as some light reading, before plunging into work or to unwind after getting a bunch of work done during your flight.