I'm in a season of life where I travel a lot right now. Case in point: as I write this post I'm sitting in Alaska about 4,000 miles away from home. On my last flight (of three) from Nashville to Anchorage, I saw a nearby passenger settle into his seat, lay his tablet out in front of him, start a countdown for the length of the flight, and then stare at the timer as he watched the minutes tick by.

I've always been taught that to meet and exceed goals in life, you need to be intentional about how you use your time. Travel is no exception to this, in my mind, which is why I do my best to always work when I travel.

I see little difference between working to make a paycheck, working on an interest of mine outside of my job, and reading a book or taking a nap, because these are all helping me to grow closer to meeting my goals in life. In my mind, they're all work, and that's exactly what I need to be doing!

Whatever you do, whenever you travel, I encourage you to make the most of your time. Don't be the guy mindlessly staring into space (or counting down the minutes until you land) while precious moments of your life drift away. But also remember that you don't have to get paid to work. You'll never accomplish your dream if you wait for someone to pay you to reach it.

Here is a brief look into my work & travel habits, and how I make the most of my time:

In the car

I drive on a regular basis, and always keep a selection of podcasts, audiobooks, and peaceful music handy. When I'm on a long drive I normally keep my mind engaged with an audiobook, but when I started taking advantage of my daily snippets of time in the car listening to podcasts, I found I could listen to at least two podcasts a day.

If my mind is focused on something already, I use music to take control of my mood and clarify my thoughts. All of this actually keeps my mind focused and awake enough to help me drive more safely, and I get a lot out of the material I'm able to absorb on the road.

On the plane

When I fly, I like to have exactly what I need in my hands when I grab my seat, so that I don't have to deal with my baggage at all during the flight. Besides my laptop (whether or not there is wi-fi), I always bring one book, a journal/notebook, and some headphones. Some of my best work has been done on planes, but I've also read through some great books in one sitting that I would have otherwise spaced out over weeks! I also sometimes sleep on the plane or make conversation with passengers sitting nearby.

Question: Do you make it a point to work when you travel?

About

John Meese is the author of the #1 bestseller Survive and Thrive: How to Build a Profitable Business in Any Economy (Including This One). An entrepreneur himself, John is on a mission to eradicate generational poverty by equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and training they need to build thriving businesses from scratch. He is the CEO of Cowork Inc, co-founder of Notable, and regularly publishes interviews and insight at JohnMeese.com.

2 thoughts on “Why (and How) I Work When I Travel

  1. Air planes are the place where I let my mind wander. I find airports stressful, so when I finally get to the plane, I desire to talk to no one. I often let my fingers, pen in hand, wander and dance across a notebook page. Making something abstract, drawing, or doing puzzles refreshes the left side of my brain. Hopefully by the time I land, my whole brain is refreshed and engaged and ready to see something new.

    1. That’s a fantastic way to use your time traveling wisely! In my mind, that’s just as much “work” as writing a ten page proposal, because it helps you pursue your goals and maintain a level of mental clarity.

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