Hand writing in a notebook in low light

Could you keep working if the power went out?

March 18, 2021 | ,

There’s nothing like a power outage to help you get really clear on the gaps in your systems! As I’m writing this it’s Wednesday afternoon and the power just came back on at our place in Mexico after being out for the past five or six hours.

Being without Internet is one thing, and I’m pretty well prepared for that: I have offline access to the most important information and files, plenty of things I can do offline, and a data package on my local SIM card to tide me over.

All that made me less worried about hosting our Zoom event for the Nomadtopia Collective this afternoon, but with no electricity I was more concerned that although the battery on my aging MacBook Pro was fully charged it would still barely last long enough to get through that call, so I couldn’t use my computer before then and risk draining the battery too much. But I still had two kid-free hours before the call and I really wanted them to be productive!

Right when the power kicked back on I was scrolling through Asana on my phone to identify tasks I could tackle either on my phone or on paper so I didn’t have to use my computer. (My husband offered me his, which has better battery life, but it would have taken a while to get what I needed onto his computer since we didn’t have Wi-Fi, so I was exploring other options.)

I often talk about the importance of testing things out in a low-pressure situation so you don’t discover problems the hard way, and that’s the reminder I want to pass on to you today. Turn off the Wi-Fi and see how your workday goes without it. Then take it to the next level and pretend you don’t have electricity at all.

Then you’ll know where you need to beef up your backup systems and processes—and maybe even your tech itself. Today’s experience reminded me that we are still new here and don’t know how frequent power outages might be, and I’m starting to wonder whether buying a new computer might have to happen sooner than I expected! I also need to do some more recon to find nearby places I could go in a pinch; moving to a new city during a pandemic means we haven’t done as much exploring as we normally would.

After you test things out for yourself, make a plan to address any issues you discover.

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