It doesn’t happen much, but when it does, the world comes crashing down. When I don’t have access to the Internet because of a power outage, or because something’s gone wrong with my service provider, I’m in serious trouble. My livelihood depends on my ability to connect to the Internet.
So, it’s important for me to have a backup plan — and a backup backup plan.
Where Can You Go for Internet?
Before you end up with a crisis, it’s important to decide to figure out where to go for Internet. My first backup plan is to call my brother and find out if his wireless Internet is working. (In past years, before the widespread use of wireless, I used my sister-in-law’s computer.) When possible, I try to avoid actually having to pay for my Internet access.
My next step is to head over to the local coffee shop, that workplace of bloggers and home business owners everywhere. The Internet access is free, but I feel bad just sitting there sucking up the bandwidth without buying something. So, I usually get something tasty, and then go sit in the back of the shop, with the other laptop owners.
Finally, if I’m forced to, I’ll head to the library to use one of the computers. (Sadly, no wireless at our public library.) I’ll reserve one of the 60-minute “research” machines, and try to do the most important items on my list.
If something happens, such as a mass power outage or some other catastrophe befalls me, I’m pretty much hosed. Luckily, most of my clients are flexible, and as long as I email them as soon as I can to apprise them of the situation, it’s usually just fine.
Prioritizing Your Workload
Before you head out in search of a working Internet connection, though, you do need to prioritize your workload. While my brother doesn’t care if I sit at his house all day, I only get 60 minutes if I’m forced to the library. I need to know what is essential and accomplish those tasks first.
Figure out your most important tasks. If you know that you won’t be able to finish everything that day, your most important task is to email the affected clients and let them know the situation. Then, tackle the most essential projects.
Also, figure out how you can do some work offline. While you have access to the Internet, gather the research you need and save it to your computer, or to a flash drive. Then, you can access it while you are offline, and at least get some of your work done. Compose your blog posts offline, and then load them when you have more reliable access again.
What is your backup plan if the Internet goes out?
Image source: Matthew Bowden via Wikimedia Commons