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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 August 6, 2019

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes And How To Tackle Them

    Procrastination is something many people can relate to and I, myself, have been there and done that. Yes, I write all about productivity now, but when I first started out on my career path, I would often put off work I didn’t want to do. And most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

    So what changed?

    I thought to myself, “why do I procrastinate?” And I started to read a lot of books on productivity, learning a great deal and shifting my mind to the reasons why people procrastinate.

    My understanding brought me a new perspective on how to put an end to the action of procrastination.

    Procrastination slows your goals and dreams way down. It can create stress and feelings of frustration. It rears its ugly head on a regular basis for a lot of people. This is particularly apparent at work with day-to-day projects and tasks.

    But, why do people self-sabotage in this way? Essentially, there are 5 reasons behind procrastination. See if you can identify with any of these in your own work life.

    1. The Perfectionist’s Fear

    Procrastination is sometimes a subconscious fear of failure.

    If you put off a task enough, then you can’t face up to the potential (and usually imagined) negative results. If you’re a stickler for minor details, the stress of getting things ‘just right’ may be too much and cause you to delay continuing the task.

    Either way, fear is at the root cause and can sabotage your desire to move forward.

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    How to Tackle It?

    Try visualizing the completion of your task in a positive way.

    For example, you have a presentation that your boss wants you to conduct for a potential client. Visualize yourself standing in the meeting room confident, meeting the eyes of the client and seeing them light up as you explain the concept simply and concisely.

    Imagine your boss telling you how great you did and you were the best person for the job. Think about how it would feel to you and focus on this as you move forward with the task.

    2. A Dreamer’s Lack of Action

    This is a person who is highly creative and has many brilliant ideas but can’t quite seem to bring them to fruition.

    The main reason for this is because there’s usually no structure or goal setting involved once the idea has been created. This aimless approach ends up manifesting as a lack of decision-making and significant delays on a project.

    How to Tackle It?

    Write down a timeline of what you want to achieve and by when. Ideally, do this daily to keep yourself on track and accountable for progression. Creative minds tend to jump from one idea to the next, so cultivating focus is essential.

    If you’re designing and creating a new product at work, set out a task list for the week ahead with the steps you want to focus on each day. Doing this ahead of time will stop your mind from wandering across to different ideas.

    Learn about how to plan your time and take actions from some of the successful people: 8 Ways Highly Successful People Plan Their Time

    3. An Overwhelmed Avoider

    This is one of the most common reasons for procrastination; the sheer overwhelm of a daunting task.

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    The complexity of a task can cause the brain to lose motivation and avoid doing it altogether choosing instead to stay in its comfort zone.

    The search then starts for a more enjoyable task and the harder tasks are put off. This can cause stress and dread when the task inevitably comes up to be completed.

    How to Tackle It?

    Break the challenge down into smaller tasks and tackle each one individually.

    For example, if you have a project that has technical elements to it that you know you’ll find challenging, list each step you need to take in order to complete these difficult elements. Think of ways you can resolve potential hurdles. Perhaps you have a coworker that may have time to help or even consider that the solution may be easier than you initially think. Put each task in order of most daunting to least daunting. Ideally, try to deal with the more challenging parts of each task in the morning so that momentum is created as the tasks get easier through the day.

    A reward system will also help you stay motivated so, once completed, you can enjoy your treat of choice.

    If you want to know how to better handle your feelings and stay motivated, take a look at my other article: Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It

    4. The Busy Bee Who Lacks Prioritization

    Either you have too many tasks or don’t truly acknowledge the differing importance of each task. The result? Getting nothing done.

    Time is spent switching constantly from one task to another or spending too much time deciding what to do.

    How to Tackle It?

    It’s all about priorities and choosing important tasks over urgent ones.

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    Make sure to question the value and purpose of each task and make a list in order of importance.

    For example, throughout your work day, you can waste a lot of time dealing with ‘urgent’ emails from colleagues but, you need to ask yourself if these are more important than working on a task that will affect, say, several office projects at once.

    Help yourself to prioritize and set a goal of working through your list over the next few hours reassessing the situation once the time is up.

    In my other article, I talk about an effective way to prioritze and achieve more in less time: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    5. The One with Shiny Object Syndrome (Distraction-Prone)

    This is another common cause for procrastination; just simple distraction.

    Our brains aren’t wired to focus for long periods of time and it looks for something else. So throw in a bunch of colleagues equally looking for distractions or checking your phone mindlessly, and you’ve got a recipe for ultimate procrastination.

    However, this type of procrastination may not always be an unconscious decision to sabotage and put off work. It’s simply a result of your work setup or types of coworkers you have. Only you know the answer to that.

    How to Tackle It?

    Be mindful of your workspace and potential distractions. Schedule a specific time to converse with your coworkers, put headphones on to minimize listening to what’s going on around you, and switch your phone off.

    Aim to do this for 20-30 minutes at a time and then take a break. This will be a much more efficient way of working and getting what you need done. This is also why scheduling down time is so important for productivity.

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    Whether this type of procrastination is self-sabotage or being a victim of a distracting environment, either way you can take control.

    If you need a little more guidance on how to stay focus, this guide can help you: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    Bottom Line

    I’m going to be bold and assume you identified with at least one of these procrastination pitfalls.

    You could be trapped in the endless cycle of procrastination like I was, that is, until I decided to find out my why behind putting off tasks and projects. It was only then that I could implement strategies and move forward in a positive and productive way.

    I killed the procrastination monster and so can you. I now complete my tasks more efficiently and completely killed that feeling of stress and falling behind with work that procrastination brings.

    I know it’s not easy to stop procrastinating right away, so I also have this complete guide to help you stop it once and for all: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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