How to Spend Your Blackout Time Productively: Practice Your Offline Skills

If you are in the path of Sandy, by this point you have hopefully already completed your safety checklist that includes things like batteries and flashlights, food and water. 

So now what? You're stuck at home fighting boredom. You might be tempted to drive your car to the Jersey Shore to gawk at the storm surge. That's not a good idea. If you have kids, you need a plan to occupy them. Best of luck to you. If you don't have kids, well, we know that power outages are a very popular time to create babies. 

If you're not feeling quite that ambitious, you can still use your time productively, and "build something that's useful," which is the advice of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales

Watch the video here:

Of course, you need power and Internet access to build a free online encyclopedia. So this storm is an opportunity to practice your offline skills. 

For me, this will mean carving two pumpkins. While this may not seem like the most useful thing to build, I have selected this activity for the following reasons.

1. Using your hands to build something is the kind of physical and mental challenge that I don't get to attempt every day.

2. Halloween is on Wednesday.

3. Furthermore, if I didn't have the storm (and subsequent expected blackout) as an excuse, I probably would have ended up making a much more half-hearted attempt at pumpkin-carving. This is an opportunity to create more mental space and be more creative. 

So I now have big plans for my jack o'lantern, and I have two pumpkins in case I screw one of them up. I'm not afraid to fail. 

What is your plan for being productive during this storm?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

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