It’s not often that I find myself in the passenger seat of a car with enough time on my hands to actually be productive. The reason is simply because I’m not too fond of traveling for long extended periods of time and if I am I want to be the one that’s driving since it helps me pass the time.
Ultimately I simply feel that driving wastes valuable time from working on the things that I need to work on. Sure, it’s a necessary evil but I have the right to whine every so often, right?
But on long road trips, like the one I just completed from Atlanta to Pennsylvania, it was wise to take turns with my wife simply because it’s not smart to drive 18 hours straight without a bit of help – who would have thought?
But thankfully I had my trusty Macbook Air and enough power to do some serious damage and that’s what I did. I was able to knock out some serious blog posts during my time in the passenger side and it was actually quite enjoyable.
Here are a few tips that I was able to extract from the experience that might give you a boost the next time you find yourself in the same situation:
1. Short Term Goal Setting
I’ve spoken of this before and this is generally one of my top strategies for keeping exceptionally productive in nearly all that I do and it couldn’t have worked more perfectly in the context of a moving vehicle!
For example, unless you have amazingly-comfortable seats in your car your rear end gets uncomfortable quickly and you’ll need to shift around to find a more comfortable spot. What I found was that I’d try to give myself short spurts of writing between the shifts of my body weight. It forced me to hammer out words and sentences at quite a pace!
I did the same thing with exits as well. If I saw an exit sign #204 then I decided that I’d try to write the next 500 words before the exit #184 giving myself about 20 miles to write 500 words or so, give or take a few.
These mini-challenges and short term goals kept my writing focused and it worked some serious wonders.
2. Take Advantage of Zero Internet
Since I spend most of my time in a location that has a decent connection to the world wide web it’s very rare that I find myself without it – and wow, it’s incredible how distracting the internet really can be the moment you realize it’s not there to distract you!
But the temptation to turn my iPhone into a mobile hotspot (and check my favorite Twitter app among other iPhone apps) was a big one so I turned my phone off and even went the extra mile by activating one of my focused writing apps that I’ve been using.
Not that I had too much of a choice but with this focused canvas for writing I was able to truly focus my writing efforts and productivity. Take full advantage of being off and use that desktop writing utility the way it was supposed to be used: Hardcore writing!
3. Plan Your Content
One of the things that I was able to focus on during my drive was planning for a few of the upcoming blog post series that I’m producing. When I was tired of actually writing content for a specific post I jumped up a few levels and outlined some of the core components of the series (learn the value of creating blog series here) – and that was a great change of pace.
Without distraction of the internet I was able to really take a good look at the content areas that I wanted to write about and cohesively create the general outline of the many future series – some of which I wasn’t sure that I was going to get to anytime soon!
But since I was able to spend the necessary time to create the skeleton structure I became seriously excited about them and was even able to document the main bullet points of some of the foundational points.
Use the time that you have in the car to facilitate, if you can, maximum productivity and you’ll find that time in the passenger seat (or back seat) to be actually worth your while.
Any other “pro” tips from you guys that travel extensively? Share them in the comments!