How Airplane Mode Boosted My Productivity 10x

How Airplane Mode Boosted My Productivity 10x

We normally take 1-2 long plane rides a year, and I actually look forward to them. I’ll have my trusty Turtle neck pillow, eye mask, headphones charger, kindle, laptop, and of course phone. I’ll even often bring a hardcopy of a book that’s been gathering dust on my bookshelf.


Why do all this?

Because the time spent on an airplane feels magical. I know what you’re thinking. No, I don’t travel first-class or even business. I’m always in economy seats. Those hours are magical because I’m in a productivity flow state. I get more done in a few hours than the rest of the week, if not month.


That comes down to one reason: no distractions. No text messages, news alerts, no emails. And importantly, no internet. Yes, I know that planes have the internet these days. But if I had gotten it my productivity would plummet. I would check Reddit or Facebook and lose myself down a rabbit hole of unproductivity.



Instead, I’m able to do some light reading, listen to a few podcasts, even watch an episode or two of a show I’ve been putting off. I’ll even have time in the middle for a nap.


Often, I’ll get more done in those 12 hours than I had gotten done in the whole week before. I’m energised when I land. I had gotten so much done that I could enjoy the trip with no guilt. And there was still the return trip!

Airplane Mode Boosted My Productivity 10x - Reading | Pranay Parikh

After my last trip, I thought there had to be a way I could recreate this feeling and productivity. There was! It’s called airplane mode. I wish it was as simple as turning it on.

I try to mimic the experience best I can. Instead of sitting on my sofa with my laptop, I’ll go to sit on the desk. I made sure to not have a desk chair that is too comfy. I’ll turn off the wifi to not give me any temptations and set the clock. The clock could be an hour or two depending on how much I need to get done.



I’ll have my kindle and laptop and even a physical book. I can’t say I can be productive for 12 hours straight like I can on a plane. But an hour or two that acting like I’m on a plane is often more productive than a full day otherwise. Like my brain tricks me into thinking I need to eat that cookie, I trick it into being productive.

If I Looked at Your Life What Would I See Your Priorities

If I Looked at Your Life What Would I See Your Priorities

Say I had your permission to follow you around for a week. Awake hours only. At work, at home, at the gym. We would never talk, and I’d take plenty of notes. The end of the week comes, and I give you a piece of paper. It says here are your priorities. What would yours say?

Now someone, let’s call her Izzy, comes to talk to you a week before me. She asked you to write down your priorities. Family, Work, and health; you write. You’re told to be more specific. For example: spend an hour of quality time with your wife daily, focus on your new project, exercise for 15 minutes a day. Those are better.

Izzy and I compare notes. What do we see? Do you spend time where you say your priorities are? I know I don’t. I try. It’s hard to live up to your ideals. But ever since I did this exercise, I’ve been able to get closer. Closer to spending time with what I say is important.

If you’re like me, you’re working throughout the day. Notes, side hustles, administration. Work is being done through all waking hours. But there’s more to life than work. I know. I’ve even written it down as a priority. But how much time do I dedicate to my non-work priorities? 10% of my day? 20%?

Some weeks: it’s 90% work and 10% family. Other weeks 80% work, 10% family, But life is passing me by. Work will always be there. There will always be more. More projects to pick up. More money on the table.

With this goal in mind, I’ve been better. I have some tricks though. I realized those three priorities don’t have to be done individually. My wife and I exercise together. Quality family time and health are taken care of together. We changed our diet. We eat healthy. Again quality time and health.

Instead of working in the office, we work together. She may be studying or shopping. Usually the latter, and I’ll be typing away. Or on a phone call. It’s not a replacement for quality time, but we fit in quality time when we can. We try to do the weekly date night. It usually occurs every two weeks. But we try.

I could get some more done. Pick up another project or side hustle. But that’s okay. They will always be there. This time with my family and my good health is priceless.