Thursday, September 6, 2018

Don't Sleep: Subtle Impact of Turning Your Computer OFF [Hisham Dahud] | hypebot

Wp2180669This short piece comes from independent music professional and former Hypebot contributor Hisham Dahud.

Here's an unexpected revelation: I used to put my laptop to 'sleep' upon ending a workday. No shutdown; just close the screen and pick up where I left off the next day. I used to view this as a nifty feature, but I've recently uncovered the subconscious impact this can have.


I write this to you, my fellow music industry pros - whether you're a musician, artist, business professional, music tech entrepreneur - as a reminder that there's a person behind the screen that needs to be looked after. Whether we're working on DAW session files or marketing plans, this applies to all of us. 

Immediately beginning a new workday with yesterday's residue (open tabs, scattered files on your desktop, half-written emails, unfinished documents, etc.) welcomes a few things into your day:

1. Mental clutter - you've literally brought yesterday's sludge with you.

2. A false sense of urgency - rather than being proactive (prioritizing tasks, creating room for for divergent thinking, etc.), you've become reactive with what *you think* needs to get done right away.

3. An impression that work is all that matters - "forget personal development or self-education, this stuff comes first."

I've found that completely shutting down my laptop functions as a mental aid that says:

"No more, we're done."

I did well here, could've done better there - but I'll tackle those tomorrow. Go do something else now… refuel the tank.

The next morning - starting my laptop from a cold start creates a subconscious feeling of beginning anew; literally starting my day with a clean slate, having ingested yesterday's successes and shortcomings to tackle projects with a refreshed perspective.

Waiting for the laptop to boot up even reinforces feelings of patience and clarity… like a subtle productive meditation.

Now, I know this may appear trivial or overthinking it to some of you.

But think about it - our devices have slowly become part of us.

Consider how much time you spend on your laptop or phone and you'll soon realize how much of your behavior, mood, and feelings have been augmented by the operational relationship you have to your device. Habits like completely shutting down your laptop acts as a digital bath of sorts - cleansing yourself of yesterday's efforts to make room for today's renewed ones.

Try it out sometime, it may just change your relationship with work all together.


Hisham Dahud is music industry digital strategist, brand builder and educator based in Los Angeles. Continue the conversation on Twitter: @HishamDahud


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