What to do when there’s no WiFi

airplane_mouseAs I write this, I’m on a flight coming home from Australia. This means I have 22 hours in the air with no access to the Internet. For some that would be a big stressor, but I prepared ahead of time for the journey with a list of things I could do to stay productive.

Being offline is actually quite liberating. Think of it as time for you to focus on the task at hand. For me, in between the in-flight service and a couple of movies (I loved Hope Springs and The Hunger Games), I’m managing to get a ton of work done.

For when you’re faced with a similar situation, here are the five things I planned to accomplish while unplugged from the Internet:

  1. Deal with my email inbox. I’m able to access my email without an Internet connection. So I’m spending time writing and filing all those messages that accumulated while I was on vacation. My intention is this: by the time we land, my inbox will be under control.
  2. Organize my digital files. Being offline is a great time to get my digital files in order. I’m filing, archiving and deleting a bunch of files on my hard drive. I’m also taking the opportunity to clean up my computer desktop.
  3. Catch up on my reading. What a treat to read all those newsletters and articles filed away in my reading folder.
  4. Prioritize my To Do list. My task list is very long. I’m spending time reviewing all my tasks and prioritizing them so I know exactly what I have to tackle as soon as I step back in my office.
  5. Write. For me, 30,000 feet up in the air is the best place to battle writer’s block. I’m writing my blogs and ezine articles. This is a luxury, and batching my writing projects enables me to keep the creative juices flowing.

Next time you’re faced with a stretch of time where you’ll be unplugged from the Internet, use it to your advantage. You’ll be amazed at how productive you can be.

How do you stay productive when you’re not connected to the Internet? Share your comments below and continue the conversation.


  1. Katherine Phillips says:

    Hi Valerie, hope you had a great holiday in Australia. I am one of your Australian subscribers. Blog post is timely as I sit on a train at 0430 for an hour to go and volunteer at the international Rowing Regatta being held in Sydney. One hour to read and delete emails and generally clean up. Reading a good book called “good to great” by Jim Collins. Kathy

    • Hi Katherine. Great to hear from you. I had an amazing time in Australia. What a beautiful place. I fell in love with the kangaroos and wallabies!

      There’s no better place than a train, plane or automobile to let your productivity soar. Few interruptions let you focus on what you need to get done. I had a three-hour car ride last night and did the same thing as you. Cleared out my inbox and got ready for the week ahead.

      Let me know how you like Good to Great. I’ve heard good things about it.

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