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A Week Without a Computer - Lessons for When Your Laptop Goes on Strike

If you follow me from week to week, you might be wondering why I didn't publish a blog post or send a newsletter last week.


Well, that's because my laptop decided to go on strike all week.


I checked email on Monday morning, hit the "Update and shut down" button on my laptop before going on a hike, and came back to THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH.


No one wants to see the blue screen of death.


I don't know how manufacturers (or programmers?) take my favorite color and turn it into visual "dread" with a single shade, but they did it.


I tried every troubleshooting option available to me, including a factory reset.


It wouldn't even let me factory reset. That's serious.


On top of that, our internet provider was doing maintenance on Wednesday, so our internet was out during business hours.


Not a lot I can do about the wifi, but thank everything good that Marque is in IT, because he waged a weeklong battle to get my computer back up and running.


It took some doing to get it back up to a reasonable speed with nothing shutting down or stalling, but he did it!


I went from being able to go downstairs, heat water, make a cup of lemon ginger tea, unload the dishes, and pet the cat before my stupid email would load... to being back to instant access to everything my inbox has to offer.


Which is a controlled stream of minimal mail, but still!


So what did I learn in the week in which my computer went on strike?


1) Technology is a huge habit trigger.


I felt like I was totally adrift when I couldn't turn my laptop on and even SIT in front of the screen, messing about and checking email - let alone work on the business!


I literally walked around the house several times, wondering what to do with myself. I had to make all new decisions without my computer acting as my crutch.


This tells me that I want to have other habits "installed" on my braindrive to make sure I can be flexible throughout my day - and not depend on having a screen!


2) Plan further ahead!


If I had written and scheduled my post and newsletter in advance, I still would have been worrying about my laptop, but I wouldn't have had the added guilt of missing a week of communication because I usually wait until the deadline to do things.


(Sidenote, it's already working. I've written this article a day ahead and scheduled it. Baby steps!)


How can this apply to things outside of running a business?


Can you:

  • Shop a little further in advance for groceries, house supplies, clothes, or event items so you don't have to scramble around last minute? This includes buying an extra pack of something (if you're an "underbuyer") so you have a spare on hand (and don't have to run out in the middle of the evening for toothpaste).

  • Write emails when you have the chance and schedule them to go out during an appropriate time? I have an IPhone, but I know some Android phones will even let you schedule text messages!

  • Schedule your week ahead to make sure you have food when you need it, breaks from work, finalized plans, and time to rest? Even if this doesn't seem "productive," looking at your downtime as something worthy of your attention and energy can seriously help you when sh*t hits the fan.


3) Having a back-up plan and schedule is crucial to success.


Thank the Universe (again!) that I have a fiancé who has multiple laptops. When I had client sessions and group coaching calls to handle, I had another device on hand to use during the struggle.


My backup plan was to go to my mom's and shamelessly beg for a device and her internet to uphold my scheduled appointments.


If THAT had failed, I would have started texting and calling friends to carve out a corner of their home and let me borrow their personal computer.


If even that had failed, I would have tried to make it work on my smartphone.


When an emergency hits, we suddenly start looking for solutions to problems to avoid disruptions as much as possible - unless we just cancel our whole day.


Take a moment to consider your top 5 essential items in your home.


If one of these things stops working, what's your backup plan?


Write down your Plan B, Plan C, and Plan WTF for each of these things so you know what to do in advance and won't panic.


4) A technology cleanse helps reset life and get you back on track.


While it was unsettling not to have my laptop and convenient access to all of my usual apps and internet pages, it had some unexpected benefits.


  1. I became aware of how addicted I am to my tech. Feeling out of sorts because you can't check email in the morning is a sure sign that you'll want to upgrade your priorities. No email is more important than your mental health.

  2. It gave me an opportunity to reconnect with some habits I'd let drop off, like stepping outside for 5 minutes in the middle of the day for some fresh air, playing with the cat during a break, and doing a quick-and-dirty meditation for 2 minutes. None of these things takes a ton of effort, but somehow my desire to "get 'er done" trumps a lot of these simple opportunities to reset my body and mind.

  3. It caused me to slow down. For anyone, especially a Highly Sensitive Person, calming your nervous system is a MUST to have a healthy and satisfying day. Taking a moment or two to get myself out of swirling thoughts gave me perspective I very much needed.

  4. I remembered how resilient I am. When something unexpected happens, there's always a way to figure it out.


How can you apply these lessons in your own life?


If you're not sure, book a complimentary 1-hour consultation call with me. We can figure out your backup plan, how to change your habits, how to break a technology addiction, and anything else you want to change for the better in your life.


And one last piece of advice - Don't keep Windows 10 for years after your PC asks you to upgrade to Windows 11. It's not worth it!


Big, warm vibes,

Steph

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