Connectivity Withdrawal

Mitch HobishGrowth, Productivity

Our Internet connection went down last night, as a result of a huge lightning strike to our ISP’s central distribution site.  We found this out upon returning to the office after a much-needed one-hour respite from professional activities.  I can’t speak for the rest of the group, but my immediate reaction—other than a technological “I-wonder-what-happened?”—was a huge yawn.  At the time, I think I may even have thought in terms of what an opportunity to just kick back and relax for an evening.

And then there was this morning.

My Internet-connected radio didn’t automatically connect to the station I’d set.  Some awful canned sound (I can’t call it music) issued forth, and caused me to note that the signal-strength indicator showed no connectivity.

“Ah!”, I thought.  “They still haven’t brought up the tower.”  Obviously.

Then I began the rest of my morning routine, which involves a cup of coffee and some time spent with information and data of various types.

‘Twas not to be—and then the withdrawal pangs began to set in.

I’m expecting to hear from a client to get input material for a near-term submission deadline.  No email.

A few informational and data items that I need to know about for several projects cannot be accessed.  No Web access.

The bill I’d planned to pay today will have to wait (fortunately, it’s not due today).  No electronic banking access.

And on and on and on, leading to a momentary—shall I say—panic?  How could I get my day going?  How could I do my work?

And then reality set in:  I had no connectivity.  I could not do the things I usually do, or that I felt I had to do.  What, then, could I do?

Resilient sort that I am, I’m taking this opportunity to do some reading of material—stored locally—that I have been meaning to (re-)visit.  I first took some time to step out on the deck and breathe some cool, fresh, sweet air.  To listen to the sounds of my environment.  To get a grasp on the day in a more gentle way than I’m used to.  And to take the time to write this blog entry to share with you (and to record for myself) the observation that doing things differently once in a while is probably a good idea—particularly if you don’t overly plan it.

True, I can’t do what I’d planned or believe I need to.  But I rather doubt that the situation is irrecoverable.   Absent a recovery sooner rather than later, I can take my laptop to any of several WiFi sites and (using appropriate safeguards) access my target services productively, albeit perhaps less efficiently than at my office.  Or, I could just acknowledge the reality, and find something productive to do that doesn’t require ‘Net access.   Regardless, I’ll survive, and might even thrive.

Question:  What do you think about habits?  How habit-bound are you?  Have you ever deliberately considered breaking your habit(s)? How would you feel if you were to do so—instigated by you or not—even for a day?  What might this tell you about yourself?