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Surviving Internet Blackouts: Fun and Productive Activities to Do Offline


Lewis Carrol : 02-29-2024

We all faced those challenging moments. For instance, imagine working from home when, unexpectedly, your Wi-Fi connection decides to play hide and seek. Alternatively, picture gearing up to board a plane or take the subway, only to realize you've left your book behind, leaving you without entertainment for the journey. You might also find yourself at work, fully occupied and making significant progress on a project, when suddenly, everything comes to an unexpected stop.

Enter the minor panic attack.

Intriguingly, an unexpected internet outage can catch us off guard and cause concern or fear, whether we admit it or not. In this era of digital connectivity, where a substantial amount of our time is spent online, a survey by the Pew Research Center indicates that 21% of Americans acknowledge being online "almost constantly."

Contrary to expectations, detaching from the internet can generate stress in our highly interconnected world. Nevertheless, remaining productive without internet access is possible. Whether you're at home, at the office, or traveling, these ideas will help you pass the time when you're not online. You are welcome to print this for your personal use..

How to Maintain Productivity amid Internet Outages

Although we typically consume articles online, reading them offline is achievable with some preparation. I personally use Pocket, a free tool, to save articles, movies, and images that I come across but don't have the time to read immediately. This facilitates convenient catch-up, especially during internet outages. 

Another useful application for tackling internet outages is the Google Play Newsstand app, accessible on both iOS and Android platforms. This app allows you to download entire newspapers and magazines, providing the convenience of offline reading. 

Unlike saving individual articles, it stores complete publications and updates with new content when internet access is available. It functions essentially as a single location to manage both paid and free subscriptions. The app's ability to download magazines, newspapers, and RSS feeds for subsequent offline reading is quite useful.

Offline Podcast Listening During Internet Outages

While the enjoyment of podcasts often hinges on streaming with a reliable internet connection, there's a workaround for those annoying internet outages. With a bit of foresight, you can still indulge in your favorite podcast episodes.

Using Apple's Podcasts app, readily available for download on iTunes or pre-installed on your iOS device, you increase the ability to download (or "save") individual podcast episodes. This feature empowers you to store them directly on your device, granting the flexibility to listen whether or not an internet connection is present.

For moments when internet access is limited, it's a wise move to preselect and save a curated collection of podcast episodes. This ensures a source of entertainment during your commute or any other instances of connectivity challenges.

Using the Podcast app to save a podcast episode is quite easy. Take these actions: Once you've located the desired podcast episode, select "Save episode" from the menu that appears by clicking the three dots that appear next to the podcast title. The download will start at this point and could take several minutes. The podcast can be listened to offline or online via the "My Podcasts" page after it has been downloaded.

For Android users, there are various ways to listen to podcasts online and offline. One good option is the Stitcher app with its "offline mode," podcasts that you have already downloaded can be listened to without internet access. You can instruct Stitcher to download new episodes of podcasts you've subscribed to automatically anytime you have an internet connection, or you can select to download episodes one at a time.

Think of a "Brain Dump" Writing Exercise during Internet Outages

Now, let's talk about a creative exercise called a "Brain Dump" that you can try during internet outages. This exercise becomes more accessible when distractions from the internet are removed. Open a new document on your computer or take out a notebook to conduct a brain dump. Write down everything that occurs to mind as soon as possible. You can either focus on a specific topic or let your thoughts flow freely without a set structure. The key is to embrace the randomness and let it all out without worrying about organization.

Once you've written enough, take a moment to review your thoughts. Group them by category and identify any actionable ideas. From there, create a to-do list, prioritize tasks, and think about who could help with each item on the list.

Work on your Social Skills - Engage in Human Interaction

What an innovative concept! In the absence of internet connectivity, you have the opportunity to divert your attention from devices like your computer or phone and spend meaningful time with those in your proximity.

The manner in which you interact with people depends on your location during the internet outage. If you're on a subway or plane, initiating a conversation with a stranger might not be your initial inclination. On the other hand, take advantage of the chance to communicate with your coworkers in the event of an internet outage at work. 

Building strong social ties at work not only increases happiness and productivity but also piques your interest in your profession and lowers the risk of quitting, as noted in Gallup's State of the American Workplace study. Additionally, you may find increased support for your professional development and receive more constructive feedback.

Have a Surprise Meeting With Your Team

Did the internet suddenly stop working while everyone's in the office? If you enjoy connecting with your colleagues but want to stay focused on work, an internet outage might be the perfect time to gather the team. You can brainstorm, catch up on everyone's projects, or discuss schedules and issues that you usually don't have time for.

Take A Break and Relax

Facing an internet problem? Use this time to unwind, even if it doesn't feel super productive. In the long term, taking breaks improves your productivity since they increase your awareness, focus, and efficiency. You can go for a stroll, have a quick nap, or grab coffee and talk about something other than work with a coworker. It's also wonderful to try meditation, which you can learn how to do using the free Headspace app on iOS and Android in only ten minutes.

Make Some Calls

Think about the calls you've been delaying. Need to book a haircut? Schedule a doctor's visit? Plan a vet appointment for your dog? And really, when was the last time you talked to your mom? If the internet is down but your phone still works, use this time to make those pending calls.

Create a Music Playlist

Many folks feel more focused with music at work. Your brain's reward region, the nucleus accumbens, becomes active when you listen to your favorite music, releasing the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. Certain tracks might not be accessible offline, depending on how you often listen to music.  If you use iTunes and have downloaded your music, you can create a new playlist anytime, online or offline. For Spotify, the "offline mode" is for premium users. If you have premium, you can make and enjoy playlists offline, but remember to go online at least once every thirty days to keep your offline music settings.

Wrapping Up 

In conclusion, navigating through internet blackouts may be challenging, but it also opens doors to engaging and productive offline activities. Whether it's saving articles with tools like Pocket, downloading newspapers and magazines with the Google Play Newsstand app, or enjoying podcasts offline using apps like Apple's Podcasts and Stitcher, there are plenty of options to stay entertained and informed.

Additionally, embracing creativity during internet outages through activities like the "Brain Dump" writing exercise can be a refreshing experience. Taking a break to connect with others in your vicinity or organizing surprise team meetings during an internet outage at work can foster strong social ties and boost overall workplace satisfaction.

So, the next time the internet decides to take a break, consider it an opportunity to take a break yourself—explore new activities, connect with those around you, and perhaps discover a different kind of productivity. Whether it's the simplicity of a short nap, the joy of a meaningful conversation, or the focus gained through offline tasks, surviving internet blackouts can be a surprisingly enriching experience.



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