This afternoon when I arrived home from work, I was all ready to sit down to a nice long evening working on a couple sites and getting caught up an some market research. Unfortunately, my internet connection was not going along with that plan. I had no connection. None. After a call to the cable company, I now have an appointment for a service tech to come find out what's going on.
For the past few weeks our Internet connection has been dropping for 20 minutes at a time every hour or two. This has made it difficult to get any sort of flow going over the past couple weeks as I spend half my available work time being upset by the lack of a connection. So, tonight when it happened again, it made me think about what I could do in my down time with no Internet connection.
Here is a list of 5 things you can do to be productive when Internet access is unavailable:
OK, that may sound like the exact opposite of being productive, but you will be quite surprised with how re-energized you will be when you sit back down to get to work after a few hours away from the PC. Plus, getting out and hanging out at a park, a mall or just about anywhere else can produce new ideas for your projects.
2. Plan your next 5 blog posts
While you may not be able to use the Internet to research the topics, you can still plan out the topics and map out a basic layout of your next few posts. This way, when the connection comes back, you'll know already what you want to research.
3. Write stub posts
Most of my posts have links to articles, tools or sites. But the bulk of the content comes from inside. So it should be no problem to write out a few posts that will only need to be touched up with a few links that can be found once your connection fires back up.
4. Backup your work machine
WHAT?? Make a backup? Who does this? Honestly, I wish I would more often. I recently lost (read: accidentally deleted) a chunk of data that I had been working. Losing 5 or 6 hours worth of work is a bummer that can usually be avoided by having a backup. I'm guilty of not backing up my system on any sort of regular basis. Are you, too? Taking care of your work system is usually the last thing on your mind. It's always just there ready to work when you are. Take some time to make sure that you don't lose any valuable data.
Head on down to the local book store and pick up a couple trade magazines. Getting caught up on the current happenings is great, but dig a little deeper. Most trade magazines have a “market place” section with smaller advertisements. This is a great place to come up with ideas for new topics to research for your blog or article writing projects.
As a bonus item, one other thing you should do is make sure your wireless network is secure. I'm only able to make this post because one of my neighbors is
kind foolish enough to leave their wireless network open and unsecure. For my wireless network, I lock it down by mac address. Each piece of wireless equipment has a unique ID called a mac address. Your wireless network router has the ability to shut out all traffic except for traffic that comes from equipment that you have added to your list of approved equipment. By not doing this you are leaving your network open to all sorts of trouble.