The Internet is Out! How to Use Your Time during the Downtime
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At the time of writing this it appears that my connection to the Internet has gone down and I have no idea when it’s supposed to come back up.
We all experience unexpected downtime whenever our Internet connection drops out. It may have been the result of a storm or maybe someone accidentally dug too deep and hit one of the lines. Either way it’s a real inconvenience to those of us that predominantly work online.
Our first reaction is to scramble and find some form of free WiFi at some coffee shop or leeching it off the neighbors but stop for a second, breathe, and embrace the outage because it’s during this time that we can actually get a lot of great things done without the distraction that comes with being connected.
Here are seven ideas (and actions) that popped up when I lost connection that I believe you might find valuable to your business:
1. Write a blog post
Which is exactly what I’m doing now.
The outage means you can’t find links and other goodies for your blog post but it doesn’t mean you can’t make one from your experiences. Consider sitting down and writing something personal to your audience like what’s going on or some of your future plans; these type of posts are personal and can actually really help create a connection with your audience.
2. Watch a movie or show (for ideas)
Throw on the T.V. or open up one of your movies on your computer and kick back and relax for a change. This time, though, go into it with the intent of pulling inspiration from the entertainment you can roll over into your work once you’re back online.
For example: When I watch documentaries about computers it often gets me inspired to work on my projects because I’m seeing these individuals building something great. It really gets you pumped.
You could read but the reason I’m not throwing that in there is that sometimes you just need a nice break from work where you can chill out for a change (though do your thing – it’s up to you).
3. Send out a few handwritten thank you letters
The personal touch of handwritten letters really gets to people because you’ve actually taken the time and effort to do so – it actually feels sincere versus some thank you email that feels cold and dead.
Sit down for an allotted time and begin penning out a few thank you letters (or even just post cards) that you’ll later send to your best customers and followers (if you have their info).
No one expects this type of stuff anymore. It’ll certainly be a surprise to them and often brings a smile to their face.
4. Trim some of the “fat”
Now would be a good time to go back through your projects and to-do lists and get rid of anything you don’t really want to work on anymore.
You probably have tons of ideas and projects looming over your head that keep nagging you but you’ve already made the decision you aren’t going to make the investment. Bite the bullet and trim the fat. Just get rid of the stuff so it’s not constantly on your mind so you can focus on the things that matter.
5. Backup and run a virus check
- You probably haven’t backed up your data in a long time so it would be within your best interest to do so even if it’s just throwing it on a small flash drive.
- You probably haven’t run a virus check in a while so it’s worth your while to do so now to clear out anything nasty you may have picked up over the last few weeks.
This is valuable because:
A. You really don’t want to lose all your hard work if your computer crashes.
B. You really don’t want to risk the loss of privacy (plus the annoyance) caused from a virus.
6. Call your loved ones
I’m saying this because of a few reasons:
- You probably haven’t talked to them in a while
- They’re a great reminder on why we do what we do
- Sometimes you can get a bump of inspiration from the chats
Though we’re all connected it still seems like we avoid our loved ones because we keep putting it off. Family and friends are a big inspiration and part of our lives so there’s no reason to neglect them especially if you have some extra time since your connection is down. Hell, if anything you might kick up a conversation that could jumpstart some ideas for once you’re back online.
Just do it. Pick up the phone and call someone you’ve avoided for the last while.
7. Practice one of your hobbies/crafts
I’m a huge believer that hobbies and crafts are one of the best ways to make a good amount of money online because there are always other enthusiasts at different levels of commitment.
The better you get at a hobby the more experience and knowledge you’ll have to bring to a project if you happen to create one based around said hobby. The same is with crafting.
Hobby/craft niches are awesome because there are always beginners that want to purchase things that’ll help them get into it. The niches are equally awesome because those already passionate about the hobby/craft love talking about it which means they often become very vocal, active community members that’ll help share your stuff!
Spend some time doing a hobby or craft, take some pictures of the process, throw it on a site you created around it, and reap the rewards. You’ll have fun and you’re building a great niche site on the side.
Not having connection to the Web really sucks when most of your work is done online (that’s an obvious one) but it doesn’t mean it has to come to a complete halt. Like I’ve mentioned with these seven – there are plenty of things to do to make good use of your time so embrace the outage and try one or two of these from the list.