Do you fall behind on your to-do list when you travel?

If so, then you're probably missing all the opportunities to get a lot of things done, and done well, even when you're on the road.

Think about it.

During a long flight, you're virtually unreachable. You're not at anybody's beck and call. You aren't interrupted by phone calls or someone walking into your office. You're away from the usual distractions.

And sometimes the change of scenery is all you need to jumpstart your creativity and productivity.

Travelling can be a good time to draft emails, write blog posts, books, or reports, formulate plans, make phone calls, brainstorm strategies, and catch up on business reading. For example, I wrote an entire book, The Audience Revolution, in a hotel room.

But you may need a little help to stay productive during business trips.

Here are the tools on-the-go entrepreneurs have come to rely on to make travel time an ultra-productive time.

1. Noise-cancelling headphones

Children crying... a passenger snoring... middle-aged men ranting... these won't break your concentration when you have a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones on. They're also a good signal to your neighbor that you're not inclined to gab.

But they make the biggest difference taking out the ambient noise of the airplane, which makes for a smoother and less exhausting ride. I used to have terrible headaches coming off of a long flight, and these in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose solved that problem completely.

Wear them on long trips so you can work with minimal noise and distractions.

2. Portable external monitor

A tiny laptop monitor can cramp your style. That's why I always pack a portable external monitor that connects to my laptop through the USB port. This makes it possible for me to have a dual monitor setup even in the smallest hotel room--perfect for keeping my eye on two documents or applications at the same time.

So far, this 17-inch AOC portable LED monitor has served me well, although I've been eyeing this more compact, higher-resolution model.

3. Portable wireless mouse

Trackpads on laptops are okay for a while, but they're simply not as efficient as a mouse. Not to mention, your hand can cramp up after a couple of hours of using a trackpad. This is why I prefer the convenience and ease of a portable mouse.

4. Battery pack for your cellphone

Waiting for your flight is a good time to make those calls you never have time for when you're in the office, send a few brief emails, or use one of your mobile apps for business. But what if your cellphone's almost out of juice and all the outlets at your gate are full ?

That's when a portable battery pack comes to your rescue. Even the smallest battery packs can store enough power to recharge your phone and other mobile devices several times over. Always have one charged and ready to use in an emergency.

5. Portable power strip

Nothing's worse than setting up your workstation in your hotel room, only to find that there aren't enough outlets for your gadgets. You'll never have this problem if you carry your own portable power strip. Some even have USB ports so you can charge your mobile devices on the same strip, like this Belkin mini charger port.

If you spend more than a trivial amount of time in hotels, airports, and airplanes, having the right tools can make you much more productive. The small investment can make a big difference in your productivity. With these gadgets, you can keep checking off items on your to-do list, even if you're thousands of miles away from your office.

Published on: Jul 5, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.