We all know how this pandemic has impacted our productivity, requiring a lot of discipline, patience, and attention to our surroundings. It also brought us closer to digital capabilities but also makes us reliant and dependent on screens, apps, and technological tools.
But have you felt overwhelmed by the amount of new tools you need to use to perform a simple task? Are you tired of looking at screens all day long? What would you feel if something you bring you back to some level of “normality”?
Going back to basics can be fun. Here you will find some hacks to boost your productivity and transform your travel experience and daily activity management into something fun.
I am not here telling you to go back to a check-in counter to get your paper boarding pass. Neither be physically at the airline ticket counter to get your tickets changed. But I am sure there are elements of your business travel where few analog tools come in handy and bring joy to everyday activities.
Can books improve your productivity?
You know that reading has several benefits like building your vocabulary, reducing stress, and prevention of cognitive decline.
However, printed books provide extra benefits. They stimulate higher information absorption, it is less distractive, and make reading easier. It even helps you fall asleep faster. Having a restful evening improves your productivity.
That also works if you have a big meeting the next day and need to memorize content. Print out the information you need and make your notations. But be mindful of the number of pages. One page or 2 won’t hurt.
Physical books helps children become better readers too. Even your kids will get more productive and I am sure it will help with homeschooling, uh?
David Sax, in his book, The Revenge of Analog, talks about how corporations have revived the lucrative market of analog products as people move away from current technology overflow.
Moreover, he talks about the joy and sense of accomplishment of striking through your daily tasks on paper. Likewise the entertainment of listening to a vinyl record, and the surprise of seeing your pictures after being developed. You will see below!
A book is a great tool to help you go through a long flight, a lengthy train journey, or a delay at the airport. Its benefits outweigh the burden of carrying it.
Paper Notes and Productivity
I am a big fan of pen and paper. Every year, I buy a “success notepad”, where I list everything I want to accomplish during that year and how I will get there.
Certainly, it’s rewarding to see how much you have accomplished at the end of the year and reflect on the things you would do differently.
Waking up to a daily to-do lists is very productive. Studies have shown that they reduce anxiety, create structure on this time-honored system we live in, and record achievements.
I know… I know…. There are many apps to help create to-do lists or a check-lists. Moreover, I also understand you may want to keep your work activities recorded electronically.
In this video, Matt D’avella talks about his experience of managing productivity, creativity and efficiency with check-lists and also how such system helped men go to the moon. Check it out.
But I am sure that tasks like, call your mom, pick-up a cake for your son’s birthday, and do the laundry can happily go on a nice notebook. You can even create a little journal and often look at how much you have done throughout the year.
Here are some options for you to get started:
- 2021 Smart planer – Smart A5 planner, easy to carry to help you make most of your day
- YEARLY PLANNER – This allows you to plan daily, monthly, annually activities and set up goals and objectives too
- MOLESKINE 18-month professional planner – With a professional layout with hourly breakdown to cover your projects, events, and activities
Is sending postcards really productive?
Oh… I don’t have the time… I’m too busy… It’s a just two-day trip….
Now, think about those 15 minutes you spend on Youtube procrastinating on videos of panda bears going down slides.
Ok, they are cute but you could be writing a quick postcard to your mom, your son, or your best friend. Think about the future benefits in the relationship between you and your mother-in-law by sending those postcards to her. You can’t say those 15 minutes were not productive.
Think about how happy they will all be by showing them around and keeping it as a lovely reminder that you were thinking about them while you were away.
Don’t worry… I am sure the concierge at your hotel you are staying in can help you post them.
Get there in bulk and send them away.
Vinyl, music and productivity
The idea here is for you to stop for a second and appreciate music.
I know how convenient digital music is and that you won’t be carrying your vinyl records on your next trip to Milan. Nonetheless, I am not suggesting you to go back to your walkman (and depending on how old you are, you won’t even know what that is).
According to Johns Hopkins University, listening to music can jump start your creativity, recall old memory, improve your sleep and boost your mental awareness. That’s the perfect recipe for a productive day.
And with the vynil, I am sure you will stop for a second, making the most of moment. Moreover, the experience of putting a real LP on your record player is unparalleled.
By the way, I am sure your favorite artist is also releasing their work in printed format (in limited edition). For music lovers like you, to have their LP will make music appreciation even more rewarding.
Record buying is an experience and there are still a few record shops like Phonica and Rough Trade in London and Academy Records in New York. There you can spend a couple of hours of your free time browsing around and consequently find relics to bring home.
There are now record players with speakers integrated to help you experience analog music as soon as you get home. Moreover, you will own your music and can resell it at a later stage.
Cameras? Productivity? Let’s ask Marcia.
Film photography is coming back.
And despite the improvements in digital cameras on phones and their own devices, there’s still room for taking pictures the old way.
Just like vinyl, it has become a hobby. Likewise, it also allows you to move away from the digital world and experiment with the process of taking pictures, developing them, and appreciating the result.
It can be quite fun to record a trip, a business meeting, or the end of a successful project. Most importantly, you can send printed copies to the team. It keeps you connected with your peers longer.
And above all, it is a tangible resource to remember a trip. I am sure Marcia from Finance will prioritize you request when you need to have a sneak peek at your budget. You are planning ahead and investing in your productivity in the long term. Moreover, We know where the photos sent via WhatsApp will end up.
The process of developing film has also evolved. Now, companies allow you to send the film by post and receive your printed copies at home. Some digitalise the photos so you can elect the best ones before printing (well… that takes some of the fun away but it’s practical and productive).
It is still fun and rewarding to use analog products to manage everyday activities in a productive way. Moreover, you can make your travel really fun. With a little bit of planning, we can slowly incorporate these activities into our day-to-day routines and travel plans. It can be fun.
Despite the fact that we are still connected with digital environments, where we pay for our groceries with cards and read this blog online, there’s still space for some “romance” in these analog things. Give it a try.
PS.: Don’t tell anyone, but I wrote this article on my brand new MacBook Air