overnight airport stay: productivity tips

Who knew that nights at the airport is quieter than a library?

I sure didn’t until last night. I’d thought the experience would be highly uncomfortable, since I’m no stranger of news clips showing people stranded and camped out at airports during snowstorms. However, my experience, on a normal night for Seattle Tacoma Airport – the place is absolutely serene, to the point, hiding in the workstation helped me to focus on things that needed to be done, and I got lots done in the 12 hours I was there – even with distractions from my social media accounts. Yes.

So what are the keys to productivity in an airport?

  1. Decide that you’re here to work: you might as well, you’re staying at an airport, do you really dare to sleep?
  2. Find the secluded workstations if you can: they’re usually the surface with chargers and bar stools. Depending on the airport you might also find some working cubicles which sort of look like some business class seat – it’s shielded from three sides with only one side open, helping you to ignore the outside world.
  3. Get yourself two drinks, not one: you want to stay well hydrated, so if you get a coffee to pull the all nighter, or something stronger like an energy drink, and you want to minimize the times you have to get up to grab something to drink. And when you have two drinks and not one, when you leave to get up to use the washroom, you’ll leave one drink at the table, giving people the idea that you’re coming back (without actually leaving anything valuable behind), saving yourself a seat.
  4. Make sure you get up and stretch regularly: the seats are only comfy for so long, and according to research, sitting is the new smoking, so make sure you get up to stretch, move, yoga!
  5. Respect other people’s space: there might be other travellers staying at the airport at night. Don’t blast loud music, or talk loudly on the phone – respect each other’s space and focus on what you’re working on.
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