Vulcan Nerve Pinch for Yourself

By Rebecca Tichbon

Pressing Control-Alt-Delete has been a favourite concept. It is a much-used method when the computer freezes or the application being used decides to stop working. David Bradley, an IBM engineer, developed the concept in the early 1980s as a way of allowing a reboot from the keyboard without the need for a total system restart. Because of the termination nature of the method and the three fingers required for this process, it has been dubbed the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. I can’t think of anything much more nerdy than that!

Sometimes, as busy entrepreneurs, we need to perform the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on ourselves. Not to make us completely incapacitated, but to release us from a block. Have you ever been working on the computer, floundering around, not making progress, feeling frustrated! You’re caught in an unproductive freeze, just like an annoying computer can do. We all know that worrying about it is just going to make it worse!

When this happens to me, I find this is a great time to take a breather. Perhaps I need to go for a brisk stroll around the block. Fresh air and a bit of movement can be a great way to stimulate the brain and get a new outlook.

So, rather than sitting there frustrated when you feel this way, take a break. Give yourself twenty minutes to relax and renew. Ideally, that might be getting outside, seeing some nature, removing yourself from electronic devices and other distractions. If that is not possible, you could try some other renewal activity:

  • Listen to some music
  • Do a 5-10 minute meditation – there are plenty of free apps available for this
  • Read something inspirational
  • Have a cup of tea and drink it mindfully – enjoy the drink and forget about everything else for a moment
  • Watch stupid cat videos or babies laughing on YouTube

Do you have someone you can talk to when you get stuck? You don’t have to talk about your frustration or issue; just an idle chat can free up your mind. I like to use my grandparents for this! We make small talk and they can tell me about their day. I feel better that I have found the time to call them, as well as the benefit of breaking me from my situation.

You could also call someone who can help you with your problem. New ideas can be strung from a great conversation with a colleague or mentor.

The other option is to move onto the next thing. If you have a ‘to do’ list a mile long but aren’t getting anywhere with the current task, leave it there and move onto the next one. This might be a good option as you feel like you are now being productive, even if you aren’t working on what you had planned. Sometimes, leaving a task and coming back to it later brings fresh ideas and motivation. This is not a total reboot, just terminating the task that was not working for that moment.

Using the Control-Alt-Delete on yourself can be a worthwhile option to ensure you can keep moving on in your business. Remember what the guys in IT say when something is not working – did you turn it off and turn it back on again!?

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