As we approach the holiday season, I invite you to take an opportunity to reboot...
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Something to Think about this Holiday

Last week I was out to dinner with a few colleagues. We were discussing our first jobs out of college. One of my colleagues mentioned that she was completely unqualified for her first real job. In the early 80’s, she was hired to work in the customer service call center for a major computer manufacturer. 

She explained numerous times that she was not suited for this job. Even going so far as to explain she knew “nothing about computers.” The hiring manager didn’t care. He needed a body to answer phones. She was perfect.

She was told to answer incoming calls, gather enough information to figure out the problem, then put the caller on hold.  Her next step was to seek out the advice of a fellow worker who DID know how to solve computer problems. After that, she was to instruct the caller to “reboot.” This accomplished two things simultaneously. One it bought time until the knowledgeable worker became available and two it might actually fix the problem. There was a time when simply shutting your computer off and restarting it could dispel the gremlins which had taken up residence in your hard drive. Life was so simple then!!

Now when I have computer problems, I call a company who is overseas somewhere and they take control of my computer while I look on in equal parts of hope and fear. They are smart and efficient. But if I never spoke to them again, that would be fine.

As we approach the holiday season, I invite you to take an opportunity to reboot.  In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we are doing all of our regular work plus running at a frenetic pace to do all the holiday stuff. We have a never ending list of gifts to buy, places to be, food to prepare, and a million things to do.  Then, in what seems like a heartbeat, it is over. The presents are opened, the meals are over, and the company has gone home.

In the spirit of simpler times, I invite you to “reboot.” This holiday, take some time away from your cell phone and your computer, put your email on “auto reply.” Get off the grid for a few key days. Spend time being fully present with the people you love. Be generous with your attention. Take a moment with each holiday card to reflect on the person who sent it to you and what they mean to your life. Admire the decorations in your neighborhood and how a few simple string of lights can illuminate more than just a dark night. 

As the New Year draws near, spend time reflecting on 2014. What have you accomplished and what do you wish you had? Look forward to what 2015 will bring. That’s the great thing about the New Year it is a built-in “reboot.” An annual chance to put last year to bed and take a “do-over.”   

My wish for you this holiday is time well-spent. Time to enjoy, relax, and engage; and a new year where you reboot to new heights of productivity.

By the way, my friend who worked for that computer company, is now a hugely successful corporate trainer and the computer company no longer exists. Go figure!

Happy Holidays,


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Shawn Kershaw, Inc. is dedicated
to teaching the process of 
Organizing by Degrees, ™ 
the process of making a handful of simple, incremental changes which cumulatively set you on a more productive course.

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