7 useful lessons I learnt from an unexpected laptopless week

A lesson can show up at the oddest moment. Over the Christmas break, my laptop died. It was eight years old and the battery stopped working and the power cord no longer functioned well when plugged in.

After having upgraded the hinges, the battery, the memory and several other parts of the laptop over the years, I knew it was time to get a new one.

I generally try to hold on to laptops and technology for as long as possible – I don’t want to waste by getting new stuff as it comes out for the sake of getting new stuff if you know what I mean. That’s just not my thing.

So I got online and after much huffing and double checking and grieving for the previous laptop (I tend to get attached) I ordered a new one. It was meant to arrive the same day that I got back to Perth from overseas – the 11th of January.

The key word there was “meant”. It didn’t arrive.

After a lot of back and forth between HP and I, it finally did come. Yesterday. A week after it was first due.

A week seems a short time. But I had planned client related work, blogging and all sorts of other things for that week that I was back. And so I had to manage laptopless/computerless for a week with no word for most of it as to whether it would be a week or a month or more that would have I have to do so before it turned up.

Very #firstworldproblems, definitely. But I learned a lot during those days.

Lesson 1: You can do a hell of a lot within two hours and you may only have two hours.

Why two hours? Because in Western Australia, you only get two hours per day to use the computers at any library that you are a member of. So if you have clients wondering when you are going to get back to them, you have to plan your day to fit client work into two hour slots as you move from library to library.

Lesson 2: You can do all your emailing, skyping and social media on your phone.

Anything that doesn’t require a computer and can be done quickly, do on your phone. Seriously, it’s easier.

Lesson 3: Plan your time according to the technology.

First, if you have access to computers that cannot connect to the internet but can work, do all the typing, all the things you can do on them that don’t need an online connection immediately for and put it all on to an USB. Then, go to the library and use the computers with internet access.

Lesson 4: Your past self can come in handy.

Past Marisa created blog posts in advance, social media posts in advance, a ton of things in advance that just then worked without Present Marisa even remembering till something pinged on the phone. I was worrying a bit about the blog till things pinged and it turned out that I had planned a few posts in advance after all.

Lesson 5: Store stuff in the cloud.

I put a few important documents in the cloud, in online storage and that has helped me several times and it did so here as well. I could start working on strange computers and I could set up the new laptop as soon as it arrived.

Lesson 6: You learn what is important in terms of work.

What was important was the ability to apply for work and the ability to find jobs and the ability to complete client work. Those were my top priorities work wise, not the blog, not social media. And it was worth knowing that because I want to know what to keep going and what to work on better.

Lesson 7: You learn what is important in the rest of your life.

I organised my papers and my desk, cleaned things, spent time with friends and it was all good. And I realised that I had not made a lot of time for my hobbies in my life so I decided to do more of that. And yes I did worry a bit about my delivery at the same time throughout that but I still got to do all that. Because I wasn’t behind a laptop.

And when the laptop arrived and I had set it up, there was also a sense of relief because I realised, yes my previous laptop was awesome to have lasted for so long and there is nothing wrong with bar its power issues but a new laptop is going to help me do a lot of stuff faster. It’s a faster model and I am doing a lot of things now that I wasn’t eight years ago and if I can get work done faster then I have more time to do other things. The stress of worrying about whether I would have enough power, if it would overheat or not, if I would have enough time – stress I didn’t even know I had – it’s all sort of gone out the window right now.

Over to you

So has this ever happened to you? What did you do? How long have you ever had a piece of tech for? What are your old faithfuls in terms of devices? Tell me in the comments because I want to know if I am the only one who wants to get the maximum use out of a piece of tech before I get rid of it. And am I the only one who names their laptops?

Because I want you to help me name it.

My last laptop was Xerxes. I have an HP Pavilion and I name my laptops after historical and mythological figures from Greek and Roman Civilisation where the names starts with the first letter of the model. So I am looking for a female name starting with P.

I put a call out on Twitter and this was the result:


Some others also suggested Pallas Athene/a and Persephone. I am hoping for a name that’s easy to say and one that isn’t immediately obvious.

Polyhymnia is the muse of sacred poetry, Phantasos is the spirit of fantasy, Psyche is soul, Providentia is forethought, Porrima is the future, Peitho is persuasion and Poros is the spirit of accomplishment and expediency.

I am still none the wiser as to what to choose so if you like one of these names or have a suggestion, please let me know in the comments.

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