17 Things a Digital Marketer can do to be Productive on a Plane

November 4, 2016 Annie McMindes

Marketing productivity Sigstr blog

Every flight I take, I go into it with such good intentions. “I’ve got hours of uninterrupted time, out of the office and no internet access to distract me,” I think to myself. “I’ll get so much done!” Then we board. And my intentions, met with no plan to actually get anything done, are left somewhere on the tarmac.

I’ve realized I need to be strategic and thoughtful if I’m going to make the most of my time in the air. Here are a few tips to increase your marketing productivity in flight:

For Productivity

1. Board last

A productive flight can start before you even step foot on the plane. Skip the hectic hustle of the long lines and flying elbows and hang back until the crowds have made their way on board. You’ll have more time to stretch out in the airport, you’ll avoid the unnecessary anxiety of the wait and you’ll be able to work a little longer in comfort.

2. Recognize your mindset

What does marketing productivity look like for you? How do you plan to achieve productivity on this trip? Remember, the mind creates the experience. Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on a growth mindset shows evidence our realities are shaped by how our minds approach the situation. So be thoughtful and deliberate.

3. Chat with your neighbors

Headed to a digital marketing event or conference? Prime your networking game up for success by striking up a conversation with the stranger next to you. By practicing the art of making conversation with little to no information about a person will let you leave the plane with more confidence and ready to take on the crowds at your event!  Plus you never know, you may find them as a helpful contact to have down the road.

4. Write down the top five goals you hope to accomplish with the trip

Write down the top five goals you hope to accomplish as you head off on your trip, and then reassess them on your trip home. Putting clear goals down on paper will help you create an action plan to make sure they get done.

5. Check your social

If you have Wi-Fi, take a look at your online profiles and make sure they’re all up to date. If you’re headed to a conference, you’ll be meeting hundreds of new faces and they’re all going to want to check out your details on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. So make sure you’re putting your best image on display.

6. Download and listen to a new podcast

Download as many as you can (here’s one of our favorites). Listening to podcasts uses less battery than watching a movie and are considerably more distracting than music. Grab a pair of noise canceling head phones and you’ll be set for the whole flight.

7. Plan ahead

Brainstorm your agenda for the trip when you’re on board. You’ve figured out what you want to accomplish during the trip. Now spend some time on making a plan to get it done. Be strategic and thoughtful, but keep your expectations realistic and manageable.

8. Stay hydrated

The low-humidity environment can cause headaches, stomach problems, cramps, fatigue and the like, but drinking plenty of water or sports drinks with electrolytes can help keep it at bay. Bonus, it’ll help your natural immune mechanisms to function better, helping you to avoid a cold when you get back home.

A good rule of thumb is to drink around eight ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air.

9. Relax

Take a nap. Meditate. Watch that cheesy chick-flick you’ve been eyeing. Just chill out. Whether your flight is two hours or 12, you can’t work nonstop. Remember, the human body is hardwired to pulse, moving through 90-minute rhythms during the day. We need off time to produce a better on time.

10. Keep your devices charged

As you travel from point A to B, it’s easy to forget that your laptop (with everything you need on it) is going to need a way to stay alive. So put your devices in airplane mode to save battery and travel with your device chargers. If you have a mobile power strip, slide that guy into your carry on.

11. Read

Grab a business book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the time. Don’t have any on your reading list? Check out Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman or Welcome to the Funnel by the head of global content and social initiatives for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Jason Miller.

For Fun

12. Brown paper bag lunch

Let’s be honest, eating is (almost) always fun. But airplane food can leave a little to be desired. So pack yourself a meal and some snacks that you know will keep you going. Plus, you can make fun art on the bag!

13. Make up mad libs

Keep your team’s content creation skills on point by getting creative with clever mad lib games. Grab an activity book at the airport, print some out ahead of time or just open up your Sky Mall Magazine. Then go to town on the descriptions.

14. Get competitive

Bring some scrap paper in your carry-on and have a paper plane competition with your neighbor. Ask the flight attendant to be the judge and loser buys a round of drinks either in flight or when you land.

15. Go for a walk

Flight staff frown on gathering in the galley ways, but there’s no rule against walking on the airplane. The low air pressure in the cabin can slow your circulation which can lead to blood clots. Just try to avoid getting up when the food cart is coming your way.

16. Grab a cheap coloring book and go to town

Digital marketers are creative by nature, so pass the time by letting your creative juices flow right onto the pages of a coloring book. Coloring is mindless, therapeutic and, frankly, it’s just a lot of fun. And just because you’re a “grown-up” doesn’t mean you need to color inside the lines. But in case turning Queen Else into a hipster with full-rim glasses and a tie-dyed skirt isn’t quite your style, there are tons of coloring books made just for “adults,” too.

17. Whip out some airplane Bingo

Traveling with coworkers? Awesome! Find a Bingo board online and keep an eye out for five in a row. Use peanuts or pretzels to mark your winners. Make a few copies ahead of the flight so you can change out the squares with new things to spot, you know, for variety’s sake.

Heading off to Inbound 2016 next week? Swing by the Sigstr booth and say hi! Sign up for a demo and get a sweet t-shirt!

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