A system reset is really great because it gets you back to zero. Imagine coming into a brand new place to work. The surfaces are clear, things are in their place, the right tools and ingredients are available and you can begin your task immediately.
That’s what you get when you reset your system at the end of your work each time. And your work could be computer work, paperwork, cooking, exercising, making art, recording music, dancing, house repairs, writing, planning events… anything at all.
It is easier to do the system reset if you have uncluttered and cleaned recently, but it is still do-able if you haven’t. Each time you finish your work, reset the system and add five minutes for decluttering and extra cleaning and you’ll get there eventually.
The term “system reset” came into being on a tenting trip with two under-twos, where we stayed one or two nights in each place and traveled halfway across North America and back. 1) Every travel morning we cleaned and packed our gear. 2) Every travel arrival we set up completely. 3) After each meal (four meals a day) there was a system reset where we put food away, washed dishes, sterilised bottles, boiled water and did hygiene time. It would not have been so smooth a trip if we didn’t have everything ready for our children at any given moment!
So how does one do a “system reset” for peace?
- Before you leave the office, clear off your desk surface. Put items in their homes and file any paperwork.
- Empty your inbox at least once a day. Paper inbox and email inbox.
- Wash dishes after each meal. Wipe down counters and the table. Your kitchen should be ready for you to start making the next meal.
- Put away your tools, gear, equipment when you’re done. Sweep the floors and wipe dirty surfaces.
- Wash clothes, swimsuits, towels, etc. once you have a washer full, or spot-clean an item so it’s ready to wear. Empty your lint trap or store clothes pegs away from the elements and insects.
- Make the time to repair or replace the things you need to get your work done.
- File papers. Scan them if you need to keep a copy. Shred or recycle the ones you don’t need.
- Push furniture back to where it should be. Put away gadgets, appliances and utensils in their places.
- If your supplies are running low, stock up so you don’t get stuck halfway through your work.
- When you’re finished using the computer, close everything. Shut it down or let it sleep. If you want to save something to look at later… save it (email it to yourself if you need to) as opposed to letting it sit open waiting for your attention.