Sometimes when I fly, I just want to relax. Here is our guide on relaxing and rejuvenating while flying. Other times I want to get stuff done. Here are some pretty basic tips for getting a ton of work done on the plane.
Work - offline
Almost every flight has the option to purchase Internet. I have found that I am so much more productive when I download all of my email prior to the flight, and work off-line. This allows for much less reactive work, and much better task management. You can knock out things that have been sitting on your to do list for months.
Talk to somebody
There is something about being trapped in an airtight container at 30,000 feet elevation which makes it very hard for people to ignore you. In all seriousness, there's nothing wrong with striking up a conversation with somebody on your plane. One thing that has never changed is that people like talking about themselves. At the very least, you can find out who they are, where they're from, where they're going, who they're working for, and what they do. Those pieces of information are usually great rapport builders and help you to see if there's a potential fit at some point
Print out sales collateral or training materials
I've always printed out training materials and sales collateral in anticipation of long flights. This is not for that I might not get a chance or make a chance to read while at home or in the office. There are a lot less excuses and distractions went flying. In addition, I've always found that I think differently from a strategic perspective when flying. Perhaps it is the fact that I am not receiving a ton of inbound communications and I am able to focus more.