Are you constantly rushing all over the city to meet with clients or members of your team? Or maybe you’re traveling across the country to a conference and only have brief chunks of free time between meetings? How do you get anything done with all this running around?
The answer is you need to be smart and flexible about when and where you work in downtime between meetings. Take a look at the options here and increase productivity during those limited windows.
You probably have a to-do list a mile long, but does every item require the same amount of focus? Chances are, you have simple tasks to catch up on like responding to emails or reviewing your schedule for the day. Completing little tasks can be a big motivator, so try getting up earlier and ease into the day by knocking that stuff out at home, the coffee shop, or even your hotel’s lobby.
Be sure to use the “found time” you have on public transportation, planes, or trains. You're sitting there anyway, so why not fire off a few emails? Now that it's easier than ever to get stuff done on your mobile device, you can leave that heavy laptop in your bag while traveling.
Fitting in easy tasks is great, but what about when you need to really focus during your precious free time between meetings? Before you go anywhere, invest in some over-the-ear or even noise-canceling headphones. That way, you can block out distractions wherever you find yourself. Go a step further and pick music or even noise generators specifically designed to block out distractions.
If you really need to get in the zone, try productive workspaces—like cove—or coworking spaces. Find a plan that fits your lifestyle and approach to work, and you'll have the flexibility to visit these spaces whenever you need to get something done between meetings. Since many of these companies offer locations throughout the city or even country, you’re likely never too far from some ad hoc desk space.
If you want to make effective use of your downtime but don't have a lot of cash to burn, consider these budget-friendly options. Many parks or open spaces offer free WiFi (such as Farragut Fridays’ Outdoor Office in DC) for you to get your work done with a side of fresh air. And don't forget libraries are always free and quiet! Libraries also have public computers and printers for when you need a hardcopy in a pinch (usually for a nominal fee comparable to a copy shop).
Getting stuff done between traveling and meetings can be pretty tough, but you can be productive in your downtime by taking advantage of the “workplaces” all around you!