What does a true disaster look like for you?

For some, it’s a natural disaster – storm or flood that causes severe damage to the home. For some it’s the car breaking down or getting totaled in an accident, because their location demands they use the car to get to every other place they need to be. And for the socialite, it is a certainty that the Earth’s 20,000-degree inner core is going to come to the surface and destroy humanity if (s)he doesn’t get that 47,462,587th Instagram follower, which would finally achieve the #1 world ranking that MUST be attained.

Of course I’m exaggerating a bit on that last one. But that does speak to what can reasonably be called a disaster for many people – the total loss of internet access.

It’s not just the Instagram star that craves likes and followers and attention and whatnot. It’s also just not the gamer that is trying to set the record by playing a single game for 48 straight hours. It’s also many of the 21st century entrepreneurs that conduct business online. At least in industrialized nations, internet access has become as much a part of everyday life – not to mention an expectation of always being available – as corded telephones and televisions were 40 years ago. So what happens if it isn’t there?

It has been known to happen. Of course if there’s a major storm, you might lose power and internet access due to storm damage. Equipment will break down from time to time. All kinds of things can happen. If something breaks, the provider has to dispatch a crew to fix it, and that will take time.

For the online business owner, lost time is lost money. That goes for Virtual Assistants too. I know, because it happened to me this week. My equipment broke down, and it took 2 days to convince my ISP that it was the equipment and that it needed replacing. It finally was, but not until I lost 2 days of working.

So what happens when the lifeline temporarily goes away?

Get ahead of writing tasks – You use the down time to your advantage. For me, the internet going down leaves me some time to write more blog posts. I try to keep a decent stockpile of posts on my flash drive so when it comes time to post a new entry (which I strive to do every morning), I can just pull one up, throw it on the website, and do some cleanup and small modifications.

Read a book – Most of us have a book we are reading or a list of books we want to read. While you’re offline, you can dive in. I am currently reading “Work At Home” by Caitlin Pyle, creator of “Proofread Anywhere” as a multi-million-dollar business, and “9 Rules of Engagement” by FOX News anchor Harris Faulkner. I have a few other books on the wish list I want to read as well.

Listen to a Podcast – Podcasts are a really hot item now. There are a gazillion of them and the number of them, along with the appetite for them – continues to grow. I have several in my favorites file on Stitcher, including “No Quit Living” which I mentioned in a post a few days ago. I also love “Kitchen Counter” which is about home cooking, something I’ve been working hard to improve since my weight loss surgery in November 2017 – an operation that has allowed me to lose a lot of weight while also making dining out impractical most of the time (not enough protein in most cases).

Catch up with people – Most of the time people won’t be able to respond to “hey, I just lucked into a few minutes of free time, wanna meet me at the coffee shop?” But there may be someone who can. If things align, it can be a worthy investment of the hole in the availability of the interwebs to connect with a friend.

Take a nap – Most of us adult Americans have been fed a constant narrative our entire lives – YOU MUST WORK CONSTANTLY! IF YOU EVER STOP TO BREATHE, YOU WILL FAIL!” This is utter nonsense, as most people that work for themselves will tell you. Of course, you want to be as productive as possible to meet whatever your personal objectives are. Most of the successful ones have figured out their “sweet spot” of 15, 20, 30, 40 hours a week, working 3, 4, 5 or 6 days. It’s different for everyone depending on your life station and situation, and what your personal goals are. Sometimes we push ourselves a little too hard. If you find yourself unable to conduct business for a bit, and you’re tired, go ahead and take a brief nap and get recharged, so that when the infrastructure is fixed you can be firing on all cylinders.

There is that old phrase “the best-laid plans of mice and men…” We can plan our day as diligently as possible, but at times outside forces beyond our control will put a dent in those plans. Make sure you have your backup plan ready to make even something as challenging as losing the ability to conduct business for a time to your advantage.

There’s another way you can increase your efficiency. You can work with a Virtual Assistant to get some of your back-office tasks off your plate so you can spend more time growing your business. You can contact us and see how a Virtual Assistant can help you make your business even better – even when the internet goes away for a little while.