Working from our vacation home in the mountains of North Carolina has its pros and cons. For one thing, by creating an advance to-do list of projects that require some thought and concentration, I usually head up here with specific things to accomplish and end up getting a lot more done than I anticipated. Still, the spotty internet connection (and sometimes no service at all!) spurs intense anxiety attacks about what I am missing, unanswered emails and yes, even unviewed Facebook updates.
For this trip I decided since my Sprint aircard is mostly unreliable up here that I would try Verizon’s version — to no avail. Same intermittent connection that throws me off every 15 minutes until it cuts out entirely…perhaps we should have considered a beach house for our getaways?
Today, after my initial hair pulling, hand wringing fit, I decided to take a more positive approach. Surprisingly, I felt much better and discovered five ways to make the most of the time “unplugged.”
1. TIME TO THINK
Aaaah….with the surrounding quiet except for the patter of raindrops, I actually took some time to think about my next writing project — how would I approach it, how I could make it different, what angle I could take. My focus definitely improved with this single-minded effort.
2. TIME TO WRITE
Next, I was able to write an advertorial piece straight through — no stopping to check email because there weren’t any coming in! I was able to finish surprisingly quickly with little editing needed, probably because I was not trying to do several things at once.
3. TIME TO FINISH A CONVERSATION
When I completed the advertorial I actually maintained my side of a short conversation with my husband without once sneaking a peek at my inbox — that way I fully comprehended what he was saying and was able to answer intelligently. (Not be be misunderstood: I do actually uphold my side of personal conversations — just not during business hours!)
4. TIME TO TAKE A WALK
Before moving on to a new project, since the connection was still not working, I took a short walk outside, breathed some fresh mountain air, watched two deer walking the path behind our property and then came in from the rain. Quite refreshing and good to take a little break!
5. TIME TO FEEL HAPPY ABOUT BEING RECONNECTED
While all that was good for a time, a hint of anxiety started to creep back in when I realized I could not finish my next project without some internet research. Packed up my bags and headed a mile away to my aunt’s house where for some reason I can always get a connection. Aaaaah….sweet relief, and happiness to be back up and running! Looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow!
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