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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

Lessons from a Laptop

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Today my laptop crashed.

In the middle of my workday, with 27 tabs open as I balanced insurance billing, reviewed new client documents, read emails from my children’s teachers, and did some online shopping before my Kohls cash expires, my laptop was like “Nah. Peace out. I’m done.”

I have never identified more with a machine than I did in that moment.

It reached its limit. It simply had too many internet tabs, excel documents, word documents, sticky notes, and programs running all at once.

It just couldn’t do it anymore.

How many of you can relate? How many of you, right now, are at the end of your rope? How many of you feel like you can’t do it anymore either.

My laptop and I are right there with you!

As I sat staring at the screen, unable to engage the mouse, or the escape button, or any reset tricks, I realized that I had no choice. I had to force my laptop to reset.

As I pushed the power button, sending the laptop into its power down mode, I felt a twinge of jealousy. How lovely would it be to power down right now? How nice would it be for someone to walk in and say to me: “You need to reset. I’m shutting everything down for you and giving you a chance to catch your breath and restart.”

I’m quite sure a lot of you can relate. As a psychotherapist, I get to have some insight of how people, in general, are doing. You know what, the pulse check right now is pretty concerning. People’s lives are filled with stress, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness right now. So many people have a million tabs open at a time and are completely overloading their operating systems, at risk of crashing at any minute.

Don’t be like my laptop. Don’t wait until you have no choice but to shut down.

Take a break now.

Close some of your open tabs.

Schedule a reboot.

Give yourself a break.

Recognize that we all need a break and if you don’t schedule one for yourself, eventually you will just get stuck and need a forced reset — probably in the middle of some important project or at the worst time possible.

Take a few minutes, maybe right now, but at least soon, to figure out how to prevent your own crash.

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