[Business travel] Is this the most overlooked time to get work done on planes?

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Many business travelers know the value of working while on board a plane. There are few distractions, maybe choose to not buy WiFi and there are deadlines.

We land at this time and the laptop must closed when we do. That’s a non-negotiable deadline. It helps me crank out blog posts, strategy documents and other content marketing work.

Working during the time while flying has been a long-accepted item of business travel of course.

Recently, I discovered another window of time: The moments between boarding and actually leaving.

Now, if you are boarding in Group 4,562 this tip likely would be less of value to you, but if you board relatively early you likely will have 30 minutes or close to it on board before the laptop must be stowed.

I usually board early and have started using that time better than just people watch. As much fun as that can be.

I sit down, get my laptop out and start pounding away with the work. The other day I was able to write 400-some words of an 800-word article that way before they announced it was time to go.

The biggest disadvantage is that I have to put my laptop bag underneath the seat in front of me. I prefer that space for my feet. 🙂 Being 6’5”, I need every inch of those seats – even in first class.

Also, when others are sitting next to you and you have to keep getting up to let them by that could kill the workflow. On the recent flight to Charlotte I was sitting in the single seat on one side so I didn’t have to face that.

With all the miles I’ve flown this is a strategy I had done before but kind of forgot about. And then productivity came up as we I was prepping for a webinar appearance. They said when can you even find the time? Heck, there’s time to be found all over the place. I was thinking through the times I can move time and activities around.

One of those moments in time that often goes unused is that time after boarding a plane and before takeoff. So I started taking advantage of that again.

Another thing I noticed was the business woman sitting next to me on a Charlotte to JFK flight. She kept pounding away on what looked like a laptop to me. The flight attendant asked her to put it away and she said: “it’s not a laptop. It’s a tablet… with keyboard.” She pulled the pieces “apart” to prove her point.

There’s a difference. Laptops must be put away and tablets can be kept out. Just like phones. It looked something like that:

Having a tablet meant her work time didn’t stop!

The monitor and the keyboard can be detached. It looks like a laptop but isn’t. So if you wan to maximize your content creation time even more, this is one way to do it. And depending on your type of content marketing, the tablet might replace your laptop? Not sure, but maybe.