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How to Reboot Yourself

How to Reboot Yourself
    Photo credit: Juan Ignacio Sánchez Lara

    “Alright everybody…back to ones.”

    This is what you’ll hear if you’re working on a film set and they’re going to reshoot a scene. I’ve been an extra in several films, and the more times I heard that phrase meant the more hours I was going to be spending on set that day. It wasn’t the greatest sentence to hear, but deep down I knew that the intent behind it was to get the scene completed just right. Going “back to ones” time and time again rebooted the scene until it worked.

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    There are times in our lives where we need to reboot ourselves. We get stuck in a pattern, follow the wrong path for too long or simply need a jolt; that’s when rebooting can be the best thing we can do. Think about when you reboot a computer: you’re essentially changing how it is currently functioning (usually slowly and sluggishly) and getting it back to where it was when you first powered it up. You’re not changing the entirety of the computer, just the way it is currently operating. When you reboot yourself, you’re doing the same thing. You’re not changing the inner workings of yourself, you’re changing how you’re currently operating.

    But rebooting yourself isn’t as easy as pressing a power button or holding down control-alt-delete. There’s more to it than that.

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    Remove Yourself

    When you are going about the reboot process, you need to step back and steer clear of whatever it is that you’re doing that is causing the need to reboot. That may mean taking a day off of work mid-week or taking a trip to get away from it all so that you can get clear with yourself. Regardless, it has to be something that you would not normally do. Calling in sick mid-week or taking one of your vacation days to break the pattern of a steady work week is one method. Using paid vacation to go as far away from what’s got you stuck is another. This isn’t running away from the problem – this is putting yourself in a place where you can really look at it and decide what the next step is. The goal is to reset yourself and you can’t do that when you’re still “on”.

    Rest Yourself

    Once you’ve taken the time to get clear on your next move, take the time to enjoy that moment. When a computer reboots it takes a bit of time to refresh itself. You don’t press the power button and see it instantly turn back on. It spends time getting ready for what’s next. That’s what you need to do.

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    You need to reflect on what you’ve decided to do and why you’ve decided to do it – and then look forward to what’s next. There’s no clutter involved, no stress. You’re just warming up. You’re getting ready to go. That takes time and energy. So rest up…and then go.

    Recognize Yourself

    Now that you’re clear and rested, recognize what you’re going to do to keep operating at the level you need to without having to reboot again anytime soon. Rebooting slows you down initially but once you’re up and running again you start to progress rapidly – as long as you stay focussed on what your intention is. You need to recognize this and act on it, otherwise you’ll be rebooting yourself again far too soon.

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    If you do end up having to reboot yourself too often for your liking, then there’s a bigger problem. You’re worn out in the current situation and no reboot can sustain you for very long. That’s when you need an overhaul. Coming to this conclusion also takes recogintion on your part, so having the awareness to recognize yourself in the rebooting process can save you a ton of time, enery and suffering in the future. As with a computer, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to constantly be rebooted. Recognize when a reboot works and when an upgrade is in order. It’s not just a time-saver – it’s a lifesaver.

    Yourself…Rebooted

    Just as being stuck can be a stick in the craw of your productivity, so can not knowing how to get yourself unstuck. The next time you feel that you’d be better off just trudging through your difficulties, think about giving yourself a reboot. It may just be the wake-up call you need, and now you’ve got the tools to get it done.

    Don’t quit on yourself and your situation. Take a page from technology and “force quit” what’s going on and fire yourself up again. You may find out a lot more about what’s going on inside you and whether or not you need to refresh your life – or if you need to upgrade your life.

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

    More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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