We all feel like it’s the end of the world when the Internet goes down right?
Or we go somewhere and the WIFI is poor, we would moan about it on Facebook if we could…
So I thought I would put together a list of productive things you can do when you have no internet.
1. Catch up on your Instapaper reading. Instapaper allows you to bookmark and download articles that you would like to read later but don’t have the time right now. If like me your 4G on your phone is none existent it’s great to use this app when you are on the training, in a waiting room at the docs or in an awkward social environment that you want to avoid! A bonus is that you can actually link your Instapaper to your Buffer account and share posts easily to your social media. Also another cheeky hack you can use is IFTTT.com and set it that for every article you ‘heart’ it will automatically share to your Buffer queue.
2. Put together content ideas and bullet point a few main ideas for each point. These could be blog posts ideas, social media posts, eBooks and VLOGS. Choose one per week and pop into into your calendar/diary so you know what you are writing for the next few weeks, instead of winging it! The great thing about knowing in advance is that say if you write on a Wednesday, you can plan to research your topic further on Tuesday and have some facts and figures to hand when you come to create your content.
3. Take a Braindump. Do you constantly have ideas swimming around your head but nothing seems to happen with them? Even if you don’t want to take action on these ideas in the near future you have the idea out of your head and on paper. This way you can return to it when you have time to implement it and it will give you more head space to work on your current projects.
4. Sort through images on your phone. Delete old ones that you don’t need. Uploads images to your ‘iCloud’ or ‘Dropbox ones and label and sort so they are easy to locate in the future. Whichever way you choose to backup your photos, if you don’t do this add it to your todo list as it can be a lifesaver if you ever lose your phone.
5. Declutter and File – Keeping on top of admin is a must but mostly put to the back of the todo list. It soon adds up when you put things off a few times. The ideal time to get on with this task is when you have nothing better to do! With no internet you are limited and you will feel better once it is done. Things like filing receipts, invoices and filling in the relevant spreadsheets with the information will mean you are more than grateful come tax season!
6. Tidy up your PC! Start with your desktop, this seems to be the place where everything is dumped when you have no idea where else to put it! The next port of call is the Download folder. Sort through everything and file and label them accordingly. Delete what you no longer need or you are no longer going to use. Use Dropbox to store your images and eBooks for future reference. You could have a folder for things that you want to take action on and next time you don’t have internet you can head there and get started.
7. Use the time to check in with clients and touch base with ex and prospective clients. Don’t look to sell to them just so see how they are getting on. You will be surprised on how many people will have been meaning to get in touch with you themselves but haven’t got round to it yet. So go grab your phone and get texting.
8. Write without distractions! Whether it be a blog, a sales page, an eBook or some emails, when you have no internet it is an ideal time to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard! Before you know it you’ll have written an epic blog, a week’s worth of emails or the first chapter to your first book! If you have always wanted to write your own book, you could use internetless times to brainstorm ideas and then take every opportunity you can do write.
9. Read – I know we have already mentioned Instapaper, but if you are anything like the business owners I know you have a bookshelf full of books you keep meaning to read! Perhaps you have downloaded a book from Audible but you haven’t listened to it yet. Business books are great but don’t underestimate the power of fiction. It’s a great way to escape the real world and boost your imagination.
10. Last but not least is exercise! It should be a major part of your life to get active but more often and not people put their work before their health. However, there is no job in the world that will not allow you a quick 30 minute workout. Working out will improve your productivity, energy levels and focus when you return. It’s a great use of our time and you’ll reduce stress, burn calories and you’ll feel good too!
We often feel that when the internet is down there is nothing we can do other than nap. Yes I am a big fan of napping, but only when your work is done! It’s the ultimate reward for me! SLEEP!
The next time your internet is out, use it as an opportunity. I would say working 1 hour without internet being 100 % focused can be with 3 hours of distracted work with internet.
As an online business owner and consultant I am lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the company of business awesomeness. I always soak up every nugget shared by these business owners as they walk the talk.
Rather than sharing my lessons from 2016, and boy there were a lot! I thought it would make more sense to share the ultimate business lesson from these online influencers.
I just asked these awesome business superstars one quick question ‘What is your one big lesson from 2016?’
Here are the amazing replies I recieved!
For people to stop learning for the sake of it and start taking action
1. Daily videos do generate more enquiries whatever the product & are more powerful than daily posts. Just trying to work out how to make them relevant to FPCR.
2. For B2B influencers is the strategy. Need to make more friends & work out how I can help them so it’s not all take (cos that feels awkward)
3. Not to get side-tracked just because I know a lot about something & can help people…but to focus on core business.
(Yes I realise there are 3 lessons here, but Karen always follows her own rules lol!)
Jos Aguiar – Marketing Consultant for Foward Thinking Leaders
Biggest lesson of 2016 has been to take the foot of the brakes. Most people already have access to the knowledge to at least get a solid start in their businesses but very few back themselves. It’s 90% a mental game. Spend the time to develop yourself and have a clear idea of where you want to go.
Liam Thompson – Head of Digital Marketing and Business Strategy
Your success is based on your actions and not neccessarily your knowledge. Having a clear set of goals and breaking those goals down to actionable steps and then taking action is the key to business growth. That and taking the time out to look after your own health and well being 1st to enable you to consistently take action.
Carly Jennings – Author of Memoir Of A Wiggly Girl & female fat loss specialist for HLHL
Don’t conform to what you perceive people to want.
Be inexcusably and utterly you.
People will buy you
Andrew Crawford – Business Development Manager
However bad you think your position is, there’s always someone in a worse position than you. So deal with the hand you are dealt with..!!!
Hollie Ellis – Freelance Graphic Designer at Hollie Ellis Design
Work hard, put the effort in and you’ll reap the benefits. You will have to sacrifice some things in order to get to where you want to be, but the end results will be worth it!
Carl Norman – Passionate about Personal Growth and Development
I don’t really think I could define one thing that taught me one particular thing in 2016 but I suppose slowing down a little to focus what’s important to me has been a really big eye opener.
Darren Casey – The Most Expensive Online Coach On Earth
Stop. Create space to SEE what’s going to generate the highest impact. 2 hrs of focus on the most impactful task, aligned with your big picture… trumps being busy 6,8,10+ Hrs.
Aimee Holland – Digital Marketing Strategist
One big lesson is that dropping things that don’t serve you makes way for things that do.
Look for the positive. There will be times when everything feels like it’s going wrong, equally there will be times when it feels like you’re flying and everything is perfect.
There will always be opportunities to focus on the negative or the positive.
Acknowledge the negative and learn what you can from it but focus on the positive – that is the path to happiness and is the fuel for your grit and determination which leads to success.
Dan Salcumbe – Fitness Marketing & Website Design
Spend less time planning and more time doing.
Claire Hunter – Facebook Ads Specialist
That I should have written my course sooner!
Rachael Watson – Nutrition for Health Specialist
Ask for help when you need it
Kelly-Marie West – Productivity & Systems Specialist
There comes a point where you have to stop learning and planning and just do it! No one is going to do it for you.
You either have to invest a shed load of time or a shed load of money.
Without one of these your business will not succeed.
Invest both and you’re laughing!
I am absolutely thrilled with the replies I received. Short and sweet, to the point and very useful.
What is your key takeaway from 2016?
Did you find any of these replies resonated with you?
So you’ve decided you want to be a business owner?
Or perhaps you’re already a business owner and you want to reclaim your sanity?
First of all, I want to wish you all the luck in the world, it sure is a rollercoaster ride. It is more than worth it to have the laptop lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
I wanted to offer you my top tips to ensure you keep your sanity intact and have the best possible chance for success.
Have a routine
This is your best friend! Running your own business can be hard and motivating yourself can be difficult. By creating a routine you will have the habits in place to get on with the work you need to without thinking about it.
I love having themed days, so for each day of the week, I have a set deep work task to do. By having these themed days you know exactly what you’re doing each day.
Having a set time to start and finish works well too. I don’t even look at my emails until I have got my daughter to school, that way I am completely present in getting her ready to school and she had my full attention. Also have you ever tried to write an email when your child is asking you a million questions in one minute?! It’s a recipe for disaster!
Using checklists makes your life so much easier. I have them for my daily tasks (shallow work), weekly tasks and even my shopping list! By having a list to go to for a resource you’ll feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
They don’t have to be super comprehensive just simple and concise.
I have things like post to Instagram, check my emails, interact on social media and things like that. At first, you will use the checklist daily and before you know it, it’ll become second nature.
You can use it to reference to if you are training staff in the future so that they know what to expect to be done on a daily basis.
I have created systems in my business for every task that happens and if I couldn’t work someone else could follow my processes and procedures to get it done.
Yes, this might seem a bit of a strange suggestion for someone wanting to build an online business. However, there is no point having the freedom of a laptop lifestyle if you are always stuck on your laptop!
Make sure you get some time away from the online world every day. Whether it be to hangout with friends, go for a walk or head to the gym it will do the world of good to have some free time.
Use tools to help
There are several tools you can use to ensure your business runs on autopilot as much as possible. I wanted to suggest that you use Calendly to book in client calls and consultations so that you can run your schedule with minimal fuss.
I am also a raving fan of Buffer, it takes care of my social media for me!
If you want to learn my top ten tools to run a business you can find them here >>
Optimise your Check-ins
This probably was one of my biggest time savers. I used to constantly be online to answer messages and emails as soon as they came in. Whilst you may feel productive you’re actually not, it’s the complete opposite in fact.
You are being a slave to your notifications, so turn them off on your phone and laptop so that you only check-in when YOU actually want to. If you are super brave take the social media apps off your phone (except Instagram obviously) you then won’t be on your phone all the time.
I have 3 times per day where I check and deal with emails at a time that suits me. I also do the same with social media, I make time to go online with purpose so I don’t spend hours aimlessly flicking through my newsfeed.
I get in and out as quickly as possible. I make sure my auto responder advises people of this so they know if it is urgent to call me.
Use Techniques to Aid Productivity
I mainly use 2 techniques which keep me super focused and productive. They are called ‘time blocking’ and ‘pomodoro so for everything I do I schedule in time blocks of 30-90 minute intervals to do a set task but use the Pomodoro timer to do focused work for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break or 90 minutes work and a 20-minute break.
By using these techniques I can work quickly and efficiently and know that I can have a short break coming soon.
You can use an app on your phone or a simple kitchen timer, just remember to turn your phone to aeroplane mode so you don’t get disturbed.
If you want to achieve anything it must be scheduled in. This isn’t just for your work, it covers fun time, me time, mother and daughter time and even date night!
By ditching your to-do list and opting for scheduling your tasks in, you will know whether you have time to do them or not realistically.
Think of things like appointments, you wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment or cancel on your boss so be as disciplined with your scheduling.
Simplify Your Life
If you can make your life easier why wouldn’t you?
There are several ways you can do to create time in your day, freeing you up to do more of what you love not to mention earn more money.
Have you heard about working in your genius? It’s a bit like that and only you can decide how you can do it.
For me I like to have a clean house but don’t want to waste time cleaning, I have a cleaner that is £10 an hour, if I make double that per hour it’s a perfect option.
If you HATE blogging but know that is a necessary evil for your business, it’s the ideal task to outsource right? If you love video then do that and get it transcribed and made into a blog for you! It’s your words you just don’t have to write them!
By outsourcing these activities which are not your genius you can spend time doing more of what you’re good at and make more money in the process.
Keeping Your Sanity
As you can see there is a theme throughout the blog about being a successful entrepreneur and it means good planning.
All of the tips I have given you are to do with managing yourself to get the best out of your time.
To create freedom in your life this requires careful planning, consistency and discipline. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, I love it and it suits me to the ground.
Whereas some people like to clock in and clock out, have someone else set their goals and follow someone else’s rules. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all, it’s finding what is best for you and your life.
If you would like some help to systemise your business so that you can make the best out of your time email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to try our course on social media systemisation we have some spots available in the new year.