Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, 1stwebdesigner. Not too long ago, these four websites loaded together in each tab in harmony. Then everything changed when the Internet got down. Only the service provider can fix this, but then, that service provider vanished.
What will you do now that the Internet Is Down?
I know nothing can really be as infuriating than a down Internet connection. As a web designer, this is very frustrating because most of your tasks are online and you will not get anything done until the connection goes back.
Most of the times, you’ll be pictured as the person who observes his router like a hunter observing a gazelle. Sometimes, you are seen pressing F5 every single minute, hoping it would soon load properly. Other times, you try and debate with your ISP over the phone and realize that there is no hope. Heck, you even plan on making rituals for the Internet gods to bring your connection back.
The again, there are other cooler things to do than brood and wait for your faulty connection to get back. I bet they are as cool and productive as they will ever be.
Read a Book
A book is probably your best companion at these times. Reading a book when the Internet is practically non-existent reduces your stress and makes you calm and be in a better mood.
In 2009, the University of Sussex published a study that said reading a book for only six minutes can reduce your stress levels by 68%.
This perfectly suits your situation. You are in a Godzilla-sized type of bad mood, and you need to calm down. Pick up a book and make yourself lost in the ideas and imagination of the author.
Who knows, it might even give you great ideas that you can somehow translate into web pages.
Here are a few books that I recommend you to read. These can be one-sitting books you can finish within a span of hours. Just enough time for the connection to stabilize, I hope:
Review Your Tasks
Because of a down Internet, you now have plenty of time to assess how your tasks are going. Do you have plenty of delays? Are you focusing on the wrong projects at the wrong time?
All of your time-planning loopholes you never bothered addressing can now be solved. Take the time when the Internet is not working properly to look at your tasks:
Where are my tasks?
It’s time to put everything in one place. Your tasks might be all over your house. Either you create a document, or write it on a piece of paper, your tasks should be located in only one place. When you’ll look for something important, you won’t go scrambling over a huge pile of paper for that task list.
Are my tasks actionable?
The faulty Internet connection may give you time to ask this. Are my tasks actionable? Are they realistic?
It’s now time to look at your task list and assess. If you have written “Web Design for Client A”, then you might want to rename that.
- Create task lists that are easy to understand.
- Use specific words. Instead of “Web Design for Client A,” try making it more comprehensible, try using “Create a Responsive ECommerce Website for Client A.”
- Add a short description after the title.
Are my tasks singular?
Do you have tasks that are like “Do this and do that?” Well, if you have, you need to break those down right now. One moment at a time, bro. You only have two hands and one mind.
Take this time to re-prioritize your tasks. Which really needs attending? Which ones should you finish first? You need to look at these quickly because you may be focusing on the wrong project.
Clean Your Workplace
As you know, productivity can be linked towards a lot of factors and cleanliness is one of them. Although I don’t agree that an organized workplace is always conducive for productivity, I support that having a clean office, at the very least, helps.
Cleaning your workplace can reflect your image as freelancer. Imagine if a client decides to pay your home a visit to actually check your performance (I mean, yes, it’s not conventional for that to happen, but heck, what if?)? As he enters your workplace, he sniffs and smells something like a drawer full of dead socks.
Do you think that would reflect good on your business?
No, right? So go on,clean your workplace now.
‘Go Out’ and Talk to Your Neighbors
I know freelance web design can be pretty debilitating on your social life. Because you often stay at home, messing with codes or grids, you miss a lot of social neighbor-y stuff. Take some time to go out right now and try to talk to your neighbors.
Now that your Internet is not working, you’ll have no excuses for avoiding to strike a conversation with your neighbor. Would you want to rot inside your comfy little home without anybody acknowledging your existence? Or be welcomed by the warmth of other people’s embraces.
You may not notice but talking to your neighbors might be a good way to let time pass. Who knows, they might even ask you for barbecues and dinners.
When was the last time you had physical exercise?
This might be the right time to start taking care of your body. A few minutes of faulty Internet connection can give you enough time to stretch and be fit. Here are a few things you could try out:
Walking is one of the best exercises. On average, a person burns around 100 calories per mile, just from walking. Imagine how many calories you’ll burn for this simple activity. However, if you start it today, when your Internet is not working, you should do it consistently, at least five days a week.
If you’re too lazy to go outside, try stretching. This is a great exercise because you can do it more often than running. You can even do it multiple times within the day. Doing stretches can help you avoid problems with posture, improve blood circulation and relax tense muscles.
Re-organize Your Files
Having no Internet connection can also give you some extra time to reorganize your files. Having organized files saves you from looking and scrambling around for your old documents in case you need them.
Yes, you can just search what you are looking for. But if you begin to organize your files, you will see that when you are looking for a something in your computer, some related files also show up.
Here are a few tips I can recommend:
- Have a separate partition for your files
- Organize files on a specific category (Either by project, by genre, by amount paid or basically any category you would easily follow).
- Change folder icons for easy labeling
- Create a hierarchy or system of organization and stick with it
- Rename files and folders intelligently. No more asdfakjfaijfiergjia.docx.
- Use shortcuts.
Here are a few more tips:
Listen to Music
Music has a capability to sooth our mind. Psychologically speaking, music has a distinct link to our emotions and that makes it a very potent stress management tools. When you listen to music, your mind and body relax. Your pulse rate is slowing, your blood pressure lowering and your stress hormones decreasing.
Listening to music can be a very good way to relax. Take deep breaths and remember that things are okay.
Some people may see this as an utter waste of precious time but truth is, listening to music can decrease your stress and increase your productivity.
Meditation is also one of the things that can get you calmed down after you almost threw tantrums over the CSR of your provider. As a designer and a professional, having a clean and worry-free mind can rapidly increase your creativity.
This only means that your mind is directed to only one thing: your work. For that, you need to stop worrying about something else.
Learn to practice the art of meditation. Relax, breathe, empty your mind.
This is probably the best thing to do- take a rest. Reserve all your energy for the real actual work when your connection goes back. It’s better to rest now and focus on your task later than to mope around and get no rest at all.
Just go into a quiet space, (your room perhaps) and close your eyes. Slowly, you’ll never know that you are falling asleep.
After you wake up, you now feel refreshed. The Internet is back and you’re ready for action.
It sure is frustrating when you experience connection problems. That is totally understandable because your job is mainly rooted with the Internet. However, if your will mope and complain the whole day, you’re wasting time. Instead of just sitting on your desk, hitting refresh, or maybe planning to smash your head, why not do productive things. That way, you get to accomplish something without even really working.
What are the things you do when the Internet is down? Share your story to us.