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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 July 27, 2020

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    Here’s How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

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    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

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    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks

    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

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    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

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    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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