Can’t Get Online? 21 Ways to Be Insanely Productive When Offline

This must’ve happened to you at least once.

If you love traveling like me, and enjoy balancing work and play while on the road especially when hitting international destinations, then this has no doubt happened to you:

After a long day of sightseeing and spending time with your loved ones or basking in your own company, whatever the case may be, you are ready to settle down in your super comfy PJs, with a cup of hot beverage in one hand and your laptop in the other.


You haven’t been online all day long! Now that you’re back in your hotel room, you are itching to use the fast WiFi the hotel has promised to catch up and get some serious work done.

Except you can’t!

Because the WiFi doesn’t work!

Or worse, it “works” but it’s excruciatingly slow, it kicks you off every 5 minutes and it wants to know your entire family history before authorizing you into the system again!

Your frustration mounds up. You call the front desk. They say it’s working for everyone but you. They are baffled as much as you. Not a good sign.

You waste another 30 minutes trying to force your way onto the web, only to get more agitated by the whole situation.

Finally, you shut your laptop in a rage. “Well look at that”, you say in utter defeat, “I can’t get any work done! Just great!”

Learn to switch to your offline productivity mode

I’ve been traveling in Europe now for five amazing weeks, visiting several countries and staying in a mixture of flats and hotels to get the full experience.

The high-speed internet connection is implied everywhere we go, and most of the time, it works just fine, but every now and then, the WiFi connection just doesn’t work.

My first reaction a few months ago would have been frustration and defeat.

But now, when I can’t get online, I accept the situation, and I just switch to my offline productivity mode.

In fact, I become what you may call insanely productive.

Fact: You don’t always need an internet connection to be productive or run your online business.

See, I’ve now developed a system with which I can adapt to being offline and even get insanely productive with activities that actually move my online business forward, not just keep me busy.

Listen, if you just go online just to have fun, check Facebook or play games, this post won’t apply to you – at least not yet! And if you want to start your online business, take my Smart Exit Blueprint course.

Now if you run your own side-hustle or full-time online business, if you have readers, customers, clients, blogs, social media, and internet-reliant communication that you manage, then you need an “offline productivity plan” that you can put to use ASAP when you are not able to get online.

Why the offline productivity mode again?

Before we get to how you can be productive without access to the internet, let’s talk about the little-known benefits of having a system in place that allows you to switch between your online and offline modes like a highly engineered robot:

  1. You become extremely flexible, a valuable trait that successful people exercise great flexibility when plans go awry.
  2. You give yourself time to pause, reflect and see current business challenges in more depth and in a new light. Solutions come to you more easily.
  3. You take notice of hidden problems that you have unconsciously buried away under the constant distraction of online noise. You see the big picture in the quiet.


21 ways to be insanely productive when offline

  1. Write blog posts in a draft mode.
  2. Compose email responses in your drafts folder.
  3. Read books on your Kindle. Note that if you want to buy Kindle books in another country, Amazon acts funny sometimes. So load up your kindle with lots of books before hitting the road.
  4. Review your short- and long-term goals. If you don’t have these goals, set them.
  5. Save useful articles and long blog posts to Pocket app to read offline.
  6. Save and download special reports related to your biz and read offline.
  7. Listen to podcasts on topics that you find educational and useful.
  8. Go through your contact list and touch base (via composing an email to send later) to peers or colleagues that you want to stay connected with.
  9. Read your unread or flagged emails and newsletters you subscribe to.
  10. Write a short summary of your takeaways from a book you recently read.
  11. Brainstorm new profitable business ideas to grow your biz in new directions.
  12. Reply to your text messages, the system will send them when back online.
  13. Update your bucket list whether it’s for your business or life in general.
  14. Think about a big business headache and come up with 3 new approaches.
  15. Review your to-do list and remove any tasks that you no longer see yourself doing, increase priority to any that you have forgotten to address.
  16. Touch base with your clients by composing messages with extra love and attention.
  17. Circle back with old clients by composing messages of “checking in”.
  18. Create (if you don’t already have one) a list of 10 experts and role models in your fields. Put together a rough plan of connecting with them and getting on their radar.
  19. Come up with 3-5 new ways you can offer your skills and talents to your potential customers, clients and readers.
  20. Review strategies for every aspect of your business. For an online business, this can be your newsletter strategy, your social media strategy or your content creation strategy to name a few.
  21. Assess your health and exercise programs, which are directly related to the state of your business – present and future – and make positive change in the direction of vigilant health and self-care.

Your productivity only stops when your confidence drops.

You are not as attached to the online world as you may think. This is the phrase I have been contemplating during my Europe trip. I love being online, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I love staying connected, I love using social media and I love sending talking to you – my readers – especially in the comments.

But when circumstances are such that you are pushed outside your comfort zone, take charge, pull out your offline productivity system and get to work.

Nothing and nobody can get in your way as long as you stay confident and in charge, and nothing can stop your business from flourishing, least of all a short absence of WiFi and internet connection. So now you have an idea how to be productive when offline. Right?

What do you think? Are you growing a business online and feel hopelessly connected to the internet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps

  • Nneka, Working Mystic

    Whatever happened to pen and paper? One of the reasons I loved cruising for 2 weeks was the lack of internet access. It was cost prohibitive to use the internet. It gave me a chance to have actual face to face conversations, write with pen and paper, move my body just because (not for exercise), and, of course, the business ideas just kept pouring out because of all the white space I created.

    BTW, it’s so much fun to hear about your travels:-)

    • Farnoosh

      Hi @nnekaworkingmystic:disqus So true – I use pen & paper a lot both when the online world is around or not but I didn’t mention it. Thank you for bringing it up and YES to exercise – that goes without saying!! Love to see you drop by, and can’t wait to meet you in person one day!

  • Farnoosh

    @archie_manley:disqus No Kidding! I am in love with the internet and it has done wonders for my life but you are so right. And we can’t forget about living life without it JUST FINE! :)

  • Sandra Pawula

    This is really an amazing mini-business plan that can benefit you at almost anytime even when you’re not stuck offline. Thanks, Farnoosh!

    • Farnoosh

      Hi @sandrapawula:disqus For some reason my initial reply got lost in the ether 😉 I was just saying that being productive and feeling good about our work is entirely achievable online or offline and both feel incredibly satisfying. Plus nice seeing you here!

  • Farnoosh

    Pen and paper rocks indeed. And it improves poor handwriting that has not had practice in sometime. I love your reaction to the list @ushmanaik:disqus and so glad you spoke up …. Love my silent listeners, especially when we finally “meet* :)!

  • Josh Denning

    Incredible tips, there’s lots of times here in Thailand when I am off line particularly when I visit my wife’s parents in deep Southern Thailand. Some excellent tips I will be using Farnoosh, outstanding..

    • Farnoosh

      Thanks @joshdenning:disqus Oh I can’t wait to visit Thailand son, but I do hear you. I am so glad you enjoyed this post. I’ve been pretty connected while in Asia. Europe has been the challenging part… but now we have T-Mobile service which is bad at home 😉 but great on the road thanks to the roaming feature. So I’ve got something besides WiFi to rely on!

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