Reset Buttons

The older we get, the more we believe time flies too fast, but its swift passage comes with one advantage: Life is full of reset buttons.

Every month, you can reset your project plan. Wipe the whiteboard clean, and come up with a new, better set of milestones.

Every day, you get a new chance to rise out of bed and tackle the day in a positive, optimistic spirit.

Even every hour, you can restart the timer, pick a new task, and focus on more important work. Try to do better work. Heck, if you view life through the lens of a tool like the Pomodoro Technique, you can hit reset every 30 minutes!

So much for the theory. Why do we rarely do it in practice? Well, it’s easier to be consistent. To stick to the plan everyone nodded off on in January, even if it no longer works. To stew in the same foul mood we went to bed with yesterday. To keep hammering away at the same task, regardless of how relevant it is to what we’re hoping to accomplish.

Don’t let the comfort of consistency fool you. Routine can become rut, and ruts in mazes as complex as life only lead to dead ends — if they don’t prevent you from moving at all. Rats, however, are smart animals. They adapt. They’ll keep zipping between walls until they find an exit. What has been need not always be.

Life is full of reset buttons. Hit them. Hit them often, and hit as many of them as you need to until the right door opens in front of you.