The Internet went down this morning at the home office. If I were in a deadline situation, I would have packed the laptop into the car and headed for the nearest caffeinated wifi hot spot. But I was under no pressure this morning and had hope the Internet downtime would be brief.
Under these circumstances, this is how I stay productive when the Internet is down:
Plan what to do when Internet is back up.
Sooner or later I can get back to work. So pull out the pen and paper (my task manager is in the cloud) and outline what I need to do later. This way I have a plan for what needs to be done when I’m ready.
Catch up on podcasts.
My iPod is packed with audio that I listen to when away from my computer. It includes everything from news shows to the official Toastmasters Podcast. Since I’m an optimist, I’m starting with the short ones. The internet shouldn’t be down too long.
Spend quality time with the family.
I get through one episode of Wall Street Journal on Small Business when I hear the family having fun downstairs. I know I’m supposed to show some discipline.
Time to come out of the freelancer cave and enjoy their company. This makes everyone happier when I have to get back to work.
After catching up with my loved ones, I’m still in the mood to write. So I keep the words flowing while the Internet can’t distract me. This blog entry is starting out as a list written long hand on a legal pad. This down time isn’t going to totally kill my productivity.
Make my phone calls.
Oh, yeah…this is what we did before e-mail was invented. I actually can use a cell phone to talk to people. These calls are on my schedule for later when I usually get sick of looking at a computer monitor. So let’s get them out of the way.
Read a book.
Now I’m really going retro.
I’m about to put down my pen and pick up a dead-tree version of Where Cool Waters Flow. I keep it handy for times when my cell phone or iPod is charging. You would think I would pick a business book about the Internet or changing the color of parachutes. But the subject is close to my heart and I actually am finding a way to relate it to business.
So when your Internet is down, what do you do to stay productive?