I am a digital nomad. If conditions in a particular place are not conducive to grafting, I go find somewhere else to work (which is usually the local pub, but that’s none of anybody’s business).
However, that’s not always desirable — or even practical.
One situation that comes up frequently in Harare during the rainy season — well, any season, and particularly this current flood season — is the loss of electric power.
Now, depending on when the magetsi goes and what work you have to do, you can either call it a day and hit the cocktail bar, or suck it up and get to work.
Yes, it is possible to get work done in a power cut, if you have the right stuff beforehand.
There are four basic requirements for spending the working day without AC power: a smartphone, ideally with a power-pack (or two); a laptop, ideally with spare batteries or a UPS; some form of Broadband connectivity, unless that’s what the smartphone is for; non-perishable food you can get to without opening your fridge.
A smartphone seems like a given for a worker, but it’s especially important in a power cut.
Make sure you have a power-pack handy, and make sure to keep that charged.
I also keep my phone on charge when I’m working as well — your phone is very smart. Once it’s fully charged, it knows when to stop the current from coming in to protect your phone from overcharging.
However, lithium-ion batteries can react poorly if a phone experiences elevated temperatures, leading to a damaging effect.
If you have a phone case that doesn’t allow heat to escape, this heat will increase battery temperature and will cause cell oxidation, which will shrink the capacity and shorten the lifespan.
So, make sure you take your phone case off if you’re going to leave your phone plugged in and charging.
A laptop is also a given for today’s workers. What may not be obvious is the need for extra batteries.
Now, I know how hard it can be to get ANY thing out of the accounts department for accessories (I once had to sweat bullets just for a wireless mouse), but remember most laptops won’t last much more than three hours on batteries.
Extra batteries give you extra runtime in a power cut, and these can be found on a local classifieds site, a reputable computer shop or even cheaply on Amazon.
Of course, a phone and laptop don’t mean jack if you have no way to get online. I have Broadband using my mobile phone as an internet connection, so my internet works even with no power. If you’re not so lucky, or mobile bundles are beyond your means, you may have to migrate to an area with a WiFi hotspot.
Finally, you need chow — it is hard to get any work done under any conditions if your basic needs are not met.
Make sure you have non-perishable food readily accessible; last thing you want to do is open the fridge, causing cold air to be let out, because you don’t want the perishables going bad.
I especially recommend a nice corned beef sandwich, with sliced tomato and a gentle sprinkling of chilli flakes.
Being able to work powerless is not for everyone. It’s not practical for some jobs or locations; neither is it cheap.
However, with the resources and preparation, it can be done.
Right, where did I put my maputi?