It’s frustrating when there’s no internet. You can’t seem to do anything. Everything you do seems to be dependent on the internet. So, when you can’t connect, you can’t work.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can still stay productive even if you can’t connect to the internet. Here’s a list of things to do when you can’t seem to connect to the internet.

The first on the list of things to do to stay productive is to check out services that aren’t web-based.

When greeted with that dreaded “Unable to Connect” message, you may be tempted to play Google’s Dinosaur Game for the rest of the day. But you can do better. Plenty of online services allow offline access, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar. You won’t be able to download new messages or sync new files, obviously, but you’ll be able to see whatever was there the last time your computer was online.

You may, however, be unable to allow offline access while you’re disconnected, so it’s important to plan ahead by checking your settings when you have internet.


The second productive task you can do when you can’t seem to connect to the internet is to do some cleaning up.

There’s a good chance your computer’s hard drive is a disorganized mess. No matter how obsessive you are about keeping things clean, other work always gets in the way.


The best time to organize files is when you just can’t seem to connect to the internet. As boring as it may sound, just do it.

When you’re offline, it’s the perfect opportunity to take care of these boring-but-necessary duties. You need to handle them at some point, so what better time than when you’re forced to put other jobs on hold? Clear up that hard drive. Clean your messy desktop. Remove those browser extensions you aren’t using. And maybe even give your laptop a physical wipe-down—it’s probably pretty grimy.


The third productive thing you can do is to finally catch up on other tasks. Aside from computer-related stuff, there are other things you can do.

It’s amazing how fast your to-do list can grow while “real” work is getting done.

Since a lot of these tasks don’t require internet—or even a computer, for that matter—they’re a great choice for when your connection goes kaput. So start chugging away at the ones you can do where you are—you obviously can’t mow the lawn if you’re stuck in the office. Even if you never leave your desk, making all those phone calls you’ve been putting off will take a lot of your mind. While you’re at it, call your family, too—they probably haven’t heard from you in ages.


Another productive thing you can do is to take advantage of the time to brainstorm new ideas.

With so many tasks coming at you each day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. According to David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done” and creator of the productivity method with the same name, the key to organizing your jumbled thoughts is getting them out of your head and down on paper. This will help you avoid that anxious feeling you get when you have a long list of stuff you want to remember, but are worried you’ll forget it. You can’t forget what’s written in front of you.

With the internet down, it’s a good time to do just that, so grab a piece of paper and do a brain dump. Write down everything that’s been on your mind: ideas you’ve been meaning to pitch to your boss, whatever’s been stressing you out at home, even that ridiculous thought you had in the shower. Once it’s all out there, figure out which tasks you might be able to delegate to others and which ones you can get out of the way immediately. Once you separate the meaningful from the mess, you can jump back into work more confidently when the internet returns.


If you can’t seem to get any work done because there’s no internet connection, why not take advantage of the time to learn something new, like Photoshop. You can also use the downtime to learn more about Excel.

Sure, the internet can be incredibly helpful for learning how these tools work, but you’d be surprised what you can do with a little offline exploration. Poke around the menus and see what you find. And if you’re in an office, maybe the Excel expert down the hall would be willing to give you a brief crash course. After all, their internet’s down too, so their day just blew wide open.


How about you take a walk? You probably need it.

There’s no shame in using broken internet as an opportunity to take a break from work. In fact, you should probably be standing up and taking breaks more often, since sitting all day is slowly killing you, and that screen is probably causing some eye strain.


The most productive thing you can do when there’s no internet is to check your backups. This is not to say that you shouldn’t check your backups when there’s internet connection, it’s just that it’s probably not a priority of yours.

It’s important to check your backups. Check your external and laptop hard drives and see if they’re working.  If they’re not, then  why not seek a professional laptop data recovery service to make sure your backups are retrievable.

Now, be careful. Just because you have some time to spare, doesn’t mean you can tinker with your hard drive. Don’t waste time doing that. Instead, leave it to the experts who can find some repairable solutions to a drive failure.