For people who haven’t experienced a reality check yet, working online as a freelancer or entrepreneur or blogger isn’t the cakewalk some would have you believe. Folks who say it’s easy are either lying or delusional.
It’s not. Easy that is.
And one of the biggest banes of our unique breed’s existence is when the unthinkable happens.
This is one of those doomsday events that can literally happen to anyone, no matter who you are. Imagine pounding away on a project currently under a tight deadline… that blog post that needed to be up like… 3 days ago…
Or that ebook project you’ve finally moved to the front of the line… or even that huge project you’re partnered with so-and-so on, that is supposed to be launching in 24 hours! Yikes!
Suddenly your PC blacks out, and all that blessed hard work is finito in the blink of an eye. Gone. Down the drain. Never to be seen again.
It happens. And often explaining what happened can be mortifying, somewhat akin to explaining to your teacher that the dog ate your homework or something equally lame.
Luckily, there are a few preventive steps you can do to decrease the chances of this situation happening to you. And failing that, learning what to do when a technological nightmare does happen is just smart business.
Learn how to do basic computer maintenance
You’re one of those folks that tends to backburner silly little things like “computer maintenance”. After all, why should you be bothered with such trivial matters when you have soooo much stuff to do, right?
Once a week, you should give maintenance it’s very own time slot. Yes it will likely eat away a few hours a week of your life but you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you’ve done this when you see someone going ape**** over their problematic computer, while you go on about your business as usual!
Some of the most basics things you can do include disk defragmentation, disk check-up and disk clean-up. However it does depend on your OS so check what’s applicable for your system. One useful tool I like to use is System Mechanic.
Just be careful with the registry cleanup. I’d recommend not using those particular features as more often than not registry changes end up messing up your computer even more.
Make sure you have substantial security features installed
You probably know how important it is to protect your computer from viruses but what you may not know is that aside from those nasty little buggers, there are other dangers lurking behind every mouse click.
Let’s say you’re surfing away when you happen across a seemingly cool video. After you click the link, things keep popping up in your window and going all wonky. Not only can this be annoying but it can seriously damage your computer.
Protect yourself by knowing how to update your anti-virus and keep your Internet monitor on, with firewalls up. Also, get some malware protection and autorun blockers. The latter is important if others tend to jack their USBs into your computer on a regular basis.
One great anti-virus program I love is VIPRE. It’s fast, lightweight, and effective. You can also try Avast, although personally I like the former better.
Teach yourself how to deal with Internet connection problems.
Okay, you may not quite get this one because you might think it’s easier to call tech support. Sometimes the solution is embarrassingly easy though.
I mean embarrassingly.
There are also times when tech support can’t even offer you a decent solution because the problem isn’t on their side it’s a problem with your side.
If you are connected via cables, check to see if there are obstructions or if you’ve unplugged your modem. Try and understand firsthand what those weird blinking lights actually mean.
Chances are it’s not Morse Code.
If you are connecting via WIFI and you’re using a laptop, is your WIFI device on?
In some laptops, there’s a different switch for this one. Check your network center to assess your wireless status. Sometimes problems can be fixed by simply unplugging your modem and allowing it to reset!
Just be careful about any changes you do make while tinkering though.
You may end up digging a deeper tech hole that common geek speak won’t be able to decipher. In that case, it really will be time to call tech support!
And there you have it. 3 things that seem oh so minor, but in actuality can save you hours of headaches in the future. Learn them and do ‘em and I promise… you’ll thank me later!