Why Airplanes are a Productivity Haven For Me

Commercial flights are (increasingly) full, they are loud – both the ambient noise of the plane and the people on them, they are stuffy, you can’t get any food for free.

I could go on (and you likely are in your head anyway, so there is no need for me to).

If all of this is “true” how can I possibly say that commercial airplane flights are a productivity haven for me?

The reason is that I spend most of my time on flights doing one of (if not all of) three important things – things that I too often don’t do enough of on the ground.




It isn’t that I don’t know these are important things, and while I do some of all of them everyday, most days I don’t do enough of any of them for me to be as productive, effective, and healthy as I could be.  I know these things (and now I’m confessing them to you), but the challenge is that when I’m not in the air I have other things that too often distract me from these important things, including:

A phone.

The internet.

Other entertainment options (like TV).

So, for me when I am in the air, the phone is off, and while the airlines, in trying to make flying more comfortable, are inadvertently conspiring to distract me with wireless internet access and seat backs with a bunch of TV channels, I will continue to use my airline time for these important things.

Maybe you don’t fly.

Or maybe you can’t sleep on planes.

It’s ok.  My point isn’t really about airplanes.

It’s about making (not finding) the time and place to do your most important work.

Do you have a place (preferably places) where you can go to get past the distractions and focus on your most important tasks?

Do you have a place where you can effectively think?

Where is your haven?

If you want to become the leader, achiever and person you are capable of becoming you must have good answers to these questions.

Do you?


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  1. says

    I am with you Kevin, so snap! I chuckled given I was curious to know what works for you and I personally find no other space effective for the above three and not necessarily in that order. Funny enough, I am scheduled to be taking off in three hours, so my journey starts in a few minutes.

  2. says

    Spot on, Kevin. If I can get upgraded or can get an exit row seat (“everyman’s first class”) it is even better! I have a “concentration” playlist on my music player that helps when I really want to get work done, too. It’s some background-ish music that helps me tune out the stuff around me on the plane and crank through writing or other focus-worthy tasks. Lately I haven’t been traveling as much and it’s eating into my output – I never realized how much I relied on that plane time for meatier tasks. I also try to do a “work on the outbound, relax on the return” kind of ritual where I sleep, watch movies, or read non-business books on the return. That helps a lot, as well.

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