Galvin and Associates

Posts Tagged "Travel Thinking"

I see two different kinds of travelers sitting near me on airline flights. There are those who are trying to get a lot of work done and those who are basically consuming media. Some have their laptops open to either a spreadsheet or solitaire. Others have their eyes glued to whatever movie is being shown. A few are thumbing through thick file folders. Most arrive at their destination tired and drained.

A seat on an airplane is cramped and uncomfortable. But there is also no Internet, no phone calls, no email, no voicemail, no text messages, and nobody stopping by wondering if you have minute to talk. An airplane is a lousy place to get work done. Travel is draining. You need more creative think time. Why not carve out this time for a personal mini retreat? Here’s how:

Bring good food. The food for purchase on a plane usually contains a lot of bad carbs. Bring your own snacks. It’s easy to pack nuts or raisins or baby carrots in a small plastic bag.

Bring reading material. Load up your e-reader before you leave or listen to an audiobook if you prefer. Print interesting articles ahead of time and keep them in a reading file. Avoid the in-flight entertainment.

Bring blank paper. Leave your laptop closed and stored underneath the seat in front of you. Put your thoughts on paper using a pen. Draw a mind map of your life or a big project. Take one sheet and fold it in half as a To Do list to capture action items as they come to mind.

Bring your goals. When you are literally thousands of feet in the air you have time to think at the 30K and 40K levels (to use David Allen’s Horizons of Focus terminology). Think about work-life balance issues. Pull out your life plan. I keep a planning file in my backpack so I have easy access to this material on any flight.

The next time you fly you will have a rare opportunity to think creatively and strategically about life and work. Pack for a mini-retreat now. Why would you want to stay in a rut when you are up in the air?