I had a flight back to the east coast with my wife this week and was ready to catch up on some work and blog writing. In the old days of travel, when you were fortunate to board a cross country flight that was piloting wifi and get some connection, it was an unexpected treat. If you wanted to get work done, you likely had MS Word or MS PPT copies saved to your computer and would work offline. You would then transfer or upload the work when you hit the office.
Well the old days are gone and technology is helping us be more effective. Or so I thought! I was getting used to taking Virgin to San Francisco with solid, reliable wifi. It’s always an enjoyable flight. It’s so reliable, I took it as a given that my flight to Toronto would follow suit.
I was wrong.
First, I learned a valuable lesson that my wife lovingly reminded me of (several times) as I got more and more frustrated (thanks, honey): If it was so important for me to work on the plane, I should have prepared for the fact that some fights don’t have wifi!
But more important, I learned to easily transition to a backup plan.
So what to do?
1. Where I couldn’t access some of my files, I instead decided to look at my calendar for the rest of the week and the next and re-prioritize for the best use of my time. I have learned more time planning, and prioritizing helps reduce the workload.
2. I spent time writing. Getting thoughts on paper, whether recapping meetings from the week, preparing actions for those ahead, or getting some blog writing in (like this very post!). It helps to get ideas out of your head. Trying to remember everything, pulls energy from your battery.
3. Do Nothing. Now if you normally do nothing, maybe you should do something. But if you are prone to maximize your time and feel stressed not being able to connect: do nothing. Read a book, watch a movie, talk to a travel companion (again, thanks honey).
Slowing down will help you speed up when you land.
What would be the right mix for you?
Recommendation: The next time you are flying for work, have two plans at the ready. One, what you want to accomplish with wifi and the other you can do without!
The kick in the pants you need. Sign-up for a better start to your work day.