Embracing Boring Days
Issue 16: What to do when the internet goes down
I spent the majority of the four-day weekend asleep, and it felt great. Wow, did I need the time to rest and relax. With no personal interest in Black Friday sales and making a conscious effort to stay at home, my Friday plan was to be cozy on the couch with my cat and catch up on shows and movies on streaming services. I started pretty early after no success sleeping in (my body naturally wakes up around 5:30am). I went downstairs to watch Season 2 of The Mandalorian on Disney+. Immediately after finishing my coffee the the 5th episode, my wifi started flickering. The internet went down.
If you're familiar with Spectrum, it's the worst internet service. It's a very difficult time and I want to be empathetic, however, the internet is the infrastructure of the world at this moment. With no sign of the internet coming back, I need an alternate plan that didn't involve streaming. After hours of bullet journaling, reading, and taking a nap, I needed something else to do. For the first time in a long time, I was bored. It feels like ages since I've been on a plane. When I traveled, I would never use the wifi because of how unstable it is. I also found that time to work offline. With no sign of the internet coming back on, I revisited my offline workflows. Here's what I ended up doing the rest of the day.
I take a lot of notes, both handwritten and typing. I don't spend a lot of time re-writing notes. There are many instances when I look back at my notes and ask "Why did I even write this?" I store my notes on Apple Notes, Notability, and markdown files. One new favorite of mine is Obsidian MD, a very powerful piece of software to organize notes with useful back linking. Without an internet connection, my notes on Notion were useless (they have offline caching but suboptimal IMO). I fired up my iPod classic and spent 2 solid hours cleaning up notes.
When buying a new device, I always max out the local storage to make sure I can store photos locally. However, I spend so little time organizing and editing my albums. Photography is one of my favorite creative outlets but often dump a bunch of images on iCloud without taking the time curating. Darkroom is my go-to app on the iPhone and iPad. Now with macOS Big Sur, Darkroom is now available on my laptop.
This is the most boring thing ever, but really effective. I spent an hour going through old hard drives and files on my computer to remove duplicate files (Gemini for the Mac is an amazing tool). From this work I re-discovered files that I could use for presentations or start creative projects again.
Write a list of new ideas
As a result of doing all these mundane and boring tasks, going through these steps sparked creative ideas I can continue working on. The internet file came back on at the end of the day as I prepared for bed. My day went nothing like I planned, but one of the most boring days of my life was relaxing and semi-productive. Embrace the boring days to get organized. You don’t have to be productive every day.
P.S. I feel like this would have been a brilliant campaign by Spectrum (like REI's opt outside) if it wasn't a service outage.