My Internet connection died last Monday morning. It was a disruptive way to start the week and the connection didn’t get restored until today. This left me, someone who is working from home, without Internet for an entire week. The incredible thing is that it taught me more about my Domaining business than I could have ever imagined. You might not realize how much a broadband connection changes your work habits, but it did, your habits have changed, and some of the changes might be holding you back.
Of course you could look at this list below and say, well duh…and if you do more power to you! I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, losing my broadband connection is probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me and gave me a lot of perspective. So below is a list in no particular order of what I learned during my week without broadband:
- 3G, while providing an Internet connection is not sufficient for day-to-day work. For anyone that’s ever said they can do anything on their iPhone I dare you to use it instead of your computer for a full day.
- Doing 10,000 things at once can be counter-productive. I usually work with three computers all doing different things, I’m a multi-tasker, aren’t we all? Well last week I couldn’t really multi-task, it was either one iPhone or one laptop at the local coffee shop, either way I could only focus on one thing at a time. This made a HUGE difference and already this week I’ve changed my work habits to multi-task less and focus more.
- Delegation is the key to growth, finding good people is hard. I’ve been very fortunate to find excellent people that have helped me scale my business and do great work. However in the process I’ve had to go through a lot of people that didn’t make the cut. Lately I’ve been working with a new developer I hired in India – the guy is going above-and-beyond doing projects at twice the pace of my previous developer, at a much higher quality level. So much work was done last week even though I couldn’t have done it myself if I wanted to. I felt helpless but at the same time proud of building a team that can get things done!
- Be more strategic and less tactical. I kept finding myself wanting to write code or design a graphic, these are things I’ve done for years but do much less of these days. Still it’s that 30 minutes of coding or 20 minutes designing a new graphic for one of my sites that takes-away from running my business. Without Internet access working in my business was challenging so I was able to spend a lot more time working on my business. In the end I came-up with more ideas than I have all year and have already begun delegating projects to my team.
- Coffee shops don’t make the most comfortable chairs. I had to sneak some broadband time in so would go to my local coffee shop for an hour and sync email, write a blog post, etc. Sitting in those chairs for even an hour was really uncomfortable, maybe that’s the point to prevent people from staying too long!
- Life without Netflix and Hulu streaming just isn’t as fun. We canceled our cable service in September since we found ourselves only watching Netflix and Hulu, we don’t watch a ton of TV but every show we want to watch is at one of these services. We’re geeks so prefer to get our news from the net and watch our sports live or in a bar, at home we’re very unlikely to ever keep the TV on a sports channel. So without broadband we soon found ourselves watching DVDs from my collection which has been gathering dust since I bought my Apple TV a few years ago. I highly recommend Ip Man, great Kung Fu film from Hong Kong.
- Once you have music in your bathroom you can’t live without it. I’ve enjoyed music/satellite radio in my bathroom for about four years now. Without broadband I had no access to Pandora or Sirius, the two services I listen to the most when I’m getting ready in the morning. Instead I spent my mornings in a quite bathroom – how boring!
- Verizon has terrible technical support but excellent on-site techs. The guy that came to my house to fix my phone line was very knowledgeable and interested in making sure everything was working. It was very refreshing and definitely a step-up from my experiences with the cable company.