Tell me if this sounds familiar – You’ve got a million things on your to-do list, and you’re up early and ready to be productive at the office. Then, the weatherman’s forecast means roads are shut down, or perhaps you’re unexpectedly staying home with a sick child, without your laptop. Or, the absolute worst seems to be when the internet is down and no one knows why, AND you can’t get an ETA on when it’ll be back up!
Since we are so dependent on our computers to do our work, it’s easy to feel defeated when we don’t have access to the technology we “need.” To get myself through these moments of frustration, I fall back on a running task list. On this list, I keep a few different ideas of ways to fill my time on short notice. While some of these tasks may require access to Raiser’s Edge™ (RE), a shared network, or the internet, many tasks on the list are completely “off the grid.”
In order to keep up productivity when working without connectivity, I keep a list of things I need to just think about. When rushing between meetings or putting out small fires that pop up in my inbox, I always seem to sacrifice spending real dedicated time to just thinking about an upcoming project. However, sometimes I find that the limitation of not having access to all of my normal resources gives me a moment of freedom to think deeply and creatively.
Take just a couple minutes now to think about it – If I had 15 minutes, an hour, or a day without access to my normal tools, what would I do? I might:
- Shred those sensitive, but outdated documents that have been stacked up in the back room
- Write a few personalized notes to donors or prospects
- If I can still get into RE, I could finally combine those 3 versions of “Cell/Cellular/Mobile” phone types
Jot those items down and keep them somewhere you see daily, whether it’s a digital to-do list or a sticky note on your computer. Ask the same of your team. Perhaps there’s some work that really needs to get done but it isn’t anyone’s “job” to do. During the next offline workday, have the team pitch in to get back burner tasks done.
Whatever the reason for a delay to your normal work, it doesn’t have to be a productivity killer. Think of it as a redirection, a moment of reprieve from the demands of constantly being online, and use it to your advantage! Is there anything you can think of right now that may be a good offline workday plan for your team?