CTRL + ALT + DELETE Back in the day this was the way we reset the computer. When whatever bugs or glitches that you experienced in your workflow became too much for you to handle you could simply hold down these three little buttons on the keyboard and reset, or restart, your pc. How many times in your life have you looked around and wished you could do the same with the person in the mirror. Or maybe a child, or your partner? If I am being honest, I have wished this on more than one occasion.
Recently I have found myself in just this circumstance. Needing to do a hard reset in order to shift the energy and increase productivity. Humans don’t have a reset button, but we do have choices. We can choose to shake things up and give ourselves a virtual reset if we are compelled, and brave enough to look in the mirror. The following are some tools I have implemented to shift the energy and clear the cobwebs of the routine.
Because we work from home and because we have a large family I have preferred to keep the office in an area that has visibility to the goings on in the home. The upside is that I can see the little ones and hear what they’re doing most of the time. And they can see me, which gives a sense of responsibility for them to behave. The downside to this is that they can see me and they have a hard time discerning the appropriate times to engage and often times their games and playfulness may distract me from the task at hand. So I decided to move locations. I decided to move my workspace down into the basement. Mind you, ours is a walkout basement with natural light, finished walls and a kitchenette. Far from moving into a dungeon. And because we don’t use the basement very much the space is open and flexible. I was able to utilize my larger executive desk that has been in storage. I could spread out a bit more and have the resources I need close at hand instead of tucked away. In the short time I have been relocated it has enabled me to have a space that I can operate from freely and I definitely have a renewed sense of focus.
You may not have the luxury of relocating your office to a new physical location but you can move in other ways. Rearrange your furniture. Dismantling your office furniture for a new location within the same room will force you to evaluate the location of files, resources, etc. and you may choose to declutter, eliminate waste and minimize your distractions in the process. You can buy a new desk that forces you to rethink the setup as it is. Add plants to your new arrangement, get some new artwork or simply paint an accent wall. It will take a day or so to restructure your office space but the end result is very much worth it.
Journaling has always been a practice of inconsistency for me. If you have read any of the other blogs you’ll have heard my conversation on routine. I’d like to say that I have mastered this practice but I would be lying. In fact, other than my workout routine most things for me are start/stop/start again. I like shiny objects and can get easily moved in another direction. So, that being said, understand that I am empathetic to the struggles of daily journaling. And … when it’s necessary I do embrace it. Journaling provides a number of benefits that help you connect with your feelings and thoughts. You will hear me say often that ‘feelings aren’t facts’ and I believe that to be true. Feelings do however play a huge role in how we act, react and choose to move about our day. Being able to recognize, honor and release those feelings, in light of what’s desired and necessary, is a skillset you can learn. Journaling is a very useful tool in developing that skillset. Journaling can also get you better connected to your source. When we let go of our ego and just let the words flow, regardless of judgement and context, you will be surprised how deep you can get into how you feel and, more importantly, why you feel that way. Too often I have heard people in coaching sessions say “I don’t know why but I feel…” In order for us to dismantle the negative thoughts and create a plan to move forward the most critical thing one needs is clarity. Clarity can be accessed by letting go and getting in touch not just with what you feel but why you feel that way. Putting pen to paper will help support that effort.
This one might be the toughest of them all. Especially if you are like me and have Activator and Achiever in your Top 5 Strengths (If you don’t know what I am talking about there, check out Gallup Strengths Finder). Hard as it may be for some, the truth is that if you chose to put everything non essential on pause for 15-30 days the world won’t end. Considering our life spans have grown well beyond 70 years now, a respite to shut it all down and find your way back to center is a relative blip on the radar. And sometimes we need this time to just think and evaluate what we are doing and why. In my book, Choose Different, I write about micro decisions and how they can, over time, veer us farther off track than we may realize. A new project here, a helping hand there - and the next thing you know, you are no longer headed in the direction you intended or you’ve become overwhelmed in the process. I cannot stress enough how important clarity and intention are in relation to keeping you on track and focused. Sometimes a good lengthy timeout is in order to regain focus and clarity. Take the time to evaluate your day to day actions and ensure that they are in alignment with the goals you seek and the outcomes you desire. If they are not, then changing your actions is the next step.
We aren’t computers or mobile phones and we can’t really reset ourselves back to the factory defaults. We have too much experience and knowledge to do that in the literal sense. We can however take control of the direction of things and course correct when necessary. We may still have to show up for work, and feed the kids along the way. But I hope that we all can be courageous enough to recognize when what we are doing isn’t working and take the time and energy to approach the challenges of life from a solution based mindset and work towards the life of abundance we all deserve.