Ever found yourself furiously hitting ‘Control Alt Delete’ (i.e., reboot!) in a desperate attempt to revive a frozen computer? This week, my computer decided to take an unscheduled nap — in fact, it just died altogether — smack dab in the middle of a podcast interview! Suddenly, the screen went blank, leaving me in an awkward silence and a state of embarrassed shock.
It got me thinking. If a machine can benefit from a quick reboot to clear its system, what about you and I?
Given our ever-busy lives, with our ever-growing to-do lists — don’t we, too, deserve a moment to reset, clear the clutter, and refresh our minds?
Here are some ideas to do just that:
1. Create ‘White Space’
In a world that celebrates the hustle, it’s critical to also schedule some ‘white space’ in your days. Inspired by a talk given by Lisa Lisson, the first female President of FedEx Canada, who balances high responsibilities with intentional pauses, I was reminded of the importance of finding some calm amidst the chaos. It’s not just about emptying spaces in our calendars, nor is it about doing nothing. It’s about consciously creating moments to stop, breathe, and simply be (not something that comes naturally to me!).
2. Declutter Your Calendar
Since my diagnosis in the fall, and often navigating back-to-back appointments, I’m beginning to realize the importance of decluttering my schedule. However, it recently became jam-packed with all sorts of meetings and commitments again. So this week, I took a conscious look at my calendar, carefully assessing which events were mandatory and which were merely filling up space.
Every time you say ‘yes’ to something in your life, there are inevitably things you are also saying ‘no’ to. Do you need to have that meeting? Is that connection call necessary this week, if at all? Do you really have the capacity to tackle even HALF of the things on your list?
3. Focus on What You CAN Control; Let Go of What You Can’t
Facing unexpected twists like health scares or sudden changes, we’re introduced to the idea and the importance of acceptance. As Gary John Bishop (author of Unfu*k Yourself and numerous other books) puts it, when we let go of control and expectations, we open ourselves up to the flow of life. Allowing for what is, and letting go of what we think should be, makes it easier to navigate the unpredictability and uncertainty in life.
So, how do we ‘Control Alt Delete’ and reboot our lives?
Start taking CONTROL of what is within your control. And when you recognize the need for a shift, press ALT – looking critically at your daily routines, your calendar, your commitments… perhaps also your mindset. And finally, be brave enough to hit DELETE on the things that are no longer serving you — the items that may be draining you, the clutter (whether in your environment or in your head) stealing too much of your space, and the negative thoughts that are holding you back.
I’m going in for another surgery on Tuesday — and it’s forcing me to shift my perspective. I think it’s time to free up more space in my world and create more space for healing.
Maybe it’s time to hit ‘CTRL ALT DELETE’ in your life, too. And create a moment to pause, reflect, reboot… ultimately making space for what truly matters.
This week’s brave action challenge, should you choose to accept it:
Look at all that’s on your calendar over the next few weeks, and choose a few items to either delegate, delay, or DELETE altogether. Get honest with yourself about what’s mandatory to take on, and what’s just merely filling up space.
Stay brave and have a FAB week!
P.S. I’ve crafted a new keynote, aimed to empower high potential female leaders in the workplace: ‘Find Your Brave: Leadership Strategies to Elevate Your Voice, Increase Your Impact, and Unleash Your Potential. In honour of International Women’s Day, I’m offering this session at a special rate throughout March. Connect with me HERE to discuss!