During my workday, I used to open lots of new tabs because I needed different information for my work ( I guess I may also be speaking for the busy you, who’s reading this blog now). Sometimes I opened too many tabs, and I didn’t even remember where to find the information I needed from my many tabs. However, I didn’t want to close any of the tabs as I was afraid that I might lose some important information. 

Some days I could feel my computer getting slower and slower, like a tired horse, with lots of goods loaded on its back, but I still kept loading more greedily. After more new tabs were opened, my mind became busier as I jumped from lots of different tabs. Sometimes, one window had 30+ tabs, and another had another two dozen.

One day my computer refused to work anymore; it went on strike. It did not respond to my instructions, and it froze and died. That was fine. I restarted my computer, and then I could quickly restore all the old tabs and windows, but my computer became busy again. After a while, I could feel my computer’s emotion; it voiced out with a big noise using its inbuilt fan and told me, “I’m tired. I cannot work anymore”. I had to restart again and then several times on the same day. I felt frustrated as it seemed my computer did not cooperate with my busy work like a good partner.

One morning, my computer froze suddenly and looked dumb at me. This time I chose not to restore any of the tabs but started with a blank window on my screen. I thought I needed to report to IT to fix my computer that day. However, soon I noticed that my computer was happy and did not make any voices anymore. It was peaceful, and I only heard my keyboard typing but nothing else.

In the meantime, I could feel that my anxiety and impatience were gone when I had a much less busy screen in front of me to start my workday. 

Since that day, I intentionally don’t open many tabs during work, or I close the tabs after reading them. If I need to keep some tabs, I can save them as temporary bookmarks named “to read” instead of keeping them open the entire day or even week.

This new habit is to “clean up” and “restart.” After adopting this new habit, I work more efficiently and feel happier. 

Lots of times, we want to hold lots of things in our hands, just like we load too much food on our plates during a buffet because we think we have a big appetite for excellent food, but then we may realize that we were too greedy in the beginning and loaded too many foods to consume. Then the tasty food becomes a burden and causes us anxiety and worry about how to finish it. If we put the right amount of food on the plate, we may find the whole meal is a pleasure.  

In our life, we may have purchased lots of stuff that we think we will need to use some time in the future. Last summer, I did a cleanup as some of the cabinets and closets were too full, and I could not find things easily, just like when I opened too many tabs. Then I found that I had eight pots and a dozen pans. However, I only use 2 pans for 80% of my cooking; why do I need a dozen of them? And I only use three pots a lot as well. Then, I counted my plates, bowls, and utensils and found that I could easily have a 40-people party at home as I had enough plates and bowls!  However, I knew I was never going to host such a big party at home. I prefer a small group of friends, no more than ten, including my family.  

Then I checked my closet, and I saw three dozen cardigans, 10+ hoodies, 1 dozen+ jeans…no wonder I couldn’t find my clothes because my closet was jammed and super complicated. 

After I did the cleanup and donated some stuff I didn’t need anymore, I found my life was easier. Now my cabinet has space, and my closet has space. Everything is organized and in order. 

Even during this Black Friday, I became more rational and only purchased the things that I already had on my list. 

So this “cleanup” and “restart” is a mindset to clean the things in our daily life and examine what we need indeed. This mindset can also ease our minds. If things don’t work, we can try to restart. This mindset can relate to lots of things in our life; for example, does our phone have too many photos, so we just keep adding more space, not thinking of deleting some of the photos that we don’t need anymore? 

Every week, we purchase too many groceries, more than we can consume. Then the next week, some vegetables are rotten or not fresh. 

Do we put too many things in our cart when a promotion is on and then realize that we don’t need that many at all? 

When we take a look at our life, we may find more.