Well, I let my Thanksgiving Break run a little long, but I'm back like a blogging fool ;~D
Full Disclosure ~ I must come clean.
I have been without a home Internet connection for the last 2 years and have been surfing on a neighbor's connection in emergencies. I consciously chose to unplug right before they moved and have been without any Internet since I began my Techie Hiatus back in June.
It's been a wonderful break.
It's kept me from my Online time wasters and has resulted in greater clarity and focus.
I have consciously extended my social networking hiatus, and no Internet has made a huge difference in this area as well. (Incidentally, if you are a Facebook or Twitter follower, or email subscriber, fear not. I have not completely forgotten about you and will be back in full swing in early 2014!)
This has reminded me of the article that started it all; my first online post about Simple Living.
It was all about Surviving Without the Internet in Your Home and I wrote it in 2007, while I was still in school. It was one of my more popular posts and I even received several "This is the last email I'm sending from home and I wanted to send it to you" emails, as a result.
How To Survive Without Internet In Your Home
Do you remember life before the Internet? A time when the Internet was only used at work or in school? A time when most of us didn't have the Internet in our homes? When I think about those days, I remember how much simpler my life was, but I'll be the first to admit that I have become spoiled and like the convenience of having the Internet in my home. Sometimes though, having a home connection isn't possible and when living simply, if the Internet isn't needed for work or school, is it really necessary to have it in the house?
In my case, the Internet was distracting me from my schoolwork. I wasn't focused on my studies, on what I wanted to do when I graduated or even on how I was going to finish college in the first place. When my computer's Internet connection quit working, I chose not to fix it in an effort to control the distractions in my life. I was able to write and print papers and that was all I needed.
It was my choice to go without an Internet connection for two years, and in that time, I came up with a great system for surviving without it in my home.
1. Know your options: Are you going to college? Have you checked your public library? Do you have friends or family that have offered the use of their connection when you need it? Is your Internet connection at work available for appropriate personal use? Do you have a laptop? If so, libraries and even fast food restaurants have wireless Internet available for their patrons. When all else fails, renting a computer at Fed Ex Kinko's for a reasonable fee is an option.
2. Have a system: Know your time frame for each possibility in hint number one as each situation will warrant different options. Most college labs have unlimited computer usage. Time is limited at the Library so use this time for emails and research. I pay my bills at the library too, but I don't do any shopping as to avoid having my credit card out in such a public place. Be sure to check with friends and family to verify how much time you will have. Once you know how long you will have with each option, you can develop a system as to what business you tend to and where. (Always be sure to log out of every service you use while utilizing a public Internet connection.)
3. Keep an Internet 'to-do' list: You can keep this in your planner if you utilize time management tools, or get a small notebook to keep track of your tasks. Separate the list into headings such as research, emails, blog entries, bills, shopping, etc. Simply take the information out when you gain access to a connection. This way you will be sure not to forget any important tasks.
4. Work outside the box: If you still have a usable computer at home, type your emails and blog entries ahead of time, save them to a disk or flash drive and simply cut and paste the text. (This may not be possible on a library computer as they usually only have Internet on the computer. Look specifically for a work station that has some office software on it.) If your usage time is limited, copy and paste any emails you need to read into a word processing document and save them to a disk to read and respond to at a later time.
5. Find the opportunity: What have you been missing out on while you were surfing YouTube.com for hours? I guarantee that if you have to go a week or so without having the Internet while your computer is being repaired you will find a missed opportunity. Maybe it's an opportunity to exercise, garden, start a small business or as in my case, do homework. Sure, the extra time is going to be uncomfortable at first, but embrace it and you will be rewarded.
I'm just asking you to take a minute and think about how what you focus on at home would change, if you did not have instant access to the online world.