What You Should Do When Your Internet’s Out

What You Should Do When Your Internet’s Out

It’s going to be a long wait for the NBN, and even if that eventually makes the Internet faster, there’s still going to be the odd occasion when you can’t get connected We’ve got suggestions for the best uses of time when a disconnection happens.

Photo by adactio.

Take the 20,000-foot look at your to-dos

When your net connection’s gone down, you’ve got a pre-ordained excuse to stop sighing at your tasks and take that floating, telekinetic look. What’s hanging around your someday/maybe list and needs attention? What two-minute tasks are blocked only by your mental hang-ups, and which items could be moved forward with a quick “Whaddya think?” email? What can actually be done, delegated, or deferred in the next week? Are you slavishly labeling things as high-priority that are merely pressing?

Go ahead, stop working (or worrying about work) and take the time to plan your attack. You might dig it enough to rotate a 10-minute Wi-Fi/LAN-breaking session into your schedule every so often.

Clean up and organise your (computer) files and folders

Having a place to put them all is key, so check out Gina’s guide to organizing My Documents, which also works for your home folder in Linux or Mac. We expanded on the concept with 10 ways to declutter your digital life. The real way out, though, is to set up rules that make sense and enforce themselves, which we can recommend two apps for: Adam’s own free Belvedere for Windows, and Hazel for Macs (free 14-day trial, $US22 after that). Both watch the spaces where you drop your downloads, then sort or wipe out whatever’s messing up the place.

Do some distraction-free, actual work

Paul Graham can tell youagrees

Which is why losing your net connection can be an unintentional blessing. You, your simple text editor, and a self-imposed time limit—like, say, until your net connection comes back—can get a lot done. Looking for a text editor that physically blocks distractions? Try JDarkRoom, a cross-platform, screen-shielding text editor that looks like a Unix terminal by default—in a good, stop-surfing-stop-writing kinda way.

What do you do when the net’s not available? Tell us how you use your time, or get around a net dependence, in the comments.


Log in to comment on this story!