TL;DR… Sign up for an upcoming course, no wait, an experience, with my spreadsheet soulmate Emily! You’ll learn how and why to organize your tech workspaces so that you can shut down your computer every night in peace. Plus, you’ll get to join a supportive, like-minded cohort with personal coaching from Emily. Sign up here!!!

My canvas sneakers are soaked completely through in a snow/slush storm; the march I’m in is winding its way through North Philly protesting Bill Clinton’s speaking engagement at Temple University during the Occupy Movement. “Show me what democracy looks like!” blares the megaphone. “This is what democracy looks like!” return the masses. “If we don’t get it?” taunt the protest leaders. “Shut! It! Down!” cry the crowd. We move like a flock of birds to block an intersection. “Squelch, squelch,” go my feet. I’m freezing; I’m exhilarated. I peel off from the crowd to buy a pair of dry boots from Payless. They would sit in the back of my closet for the rest of my time in college. For years, I would locate this protest in time as, “remember that weird snowstorm in October?” but enough time has passed by now that even this climate anomaly has blurred in popular memory.

This is my first memory of embodying the classic protest chant, and I cherish it. I love the call and response format, the energy of personal empowerment, the clarity of vision, the staccato ultimatum. It’s precocious, it’s brash, it’s absurd. It’s all the things a rousing protest should be.

In my old-er-age, I’ve come to embrace a parallel perspective on “If we don’t get it… shut it down.” Sometimes I find myself whispering the chant when I’m at peak tech frustration. In those moments, getting “it” just seems impossible, whether that’s a spreadsheet formula, database automation, or getting my Zoom mic off of mute. I want to “shut down” all of the compounded systems that render me at the end of my rope: Big Tech, time pressure, fear of my own inadequacy, sluggish laptop, feeling stuck and helpless. I want to shut ALLLLLL that shit down, especially the voice in my head saying, “You’re a failure!” My lungs swell with righteous indignation at my predicament, a skill I’ve honed at many-a-protest.

Really, what I should do is shut down my computer, walk away, take a break, power it back up, load those dang updates, and try again with a fresh start.

But in order to do that, I need to deal with all of the internet detritus that I have open on my computer! Pit of despair, meet shovel.

It might seem/feel like a viscous cycle, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be! And Emily is the perfect guide to move us (ok, me) through the steps toward a nightly reset.

I’ve gotten a sneak peak at some of the tips and resources they have created for the 5 day “shut down your computer challenge” and they are beyond phenomenal. They really get to the root of why we (okay, okay, I…) don’t turn off my computer as often as I should. Like, last week I had to clear my browser’s cache and then I got logged out of all of my accounts. I use a Password manager already, and I’m pretty rigorous about keeping it up to date, but it was still a huge pain in the tuchus. And don’t even get me started on my stale tabs. IYKYK. These reasons, plus my own stubbornness of habits, keep me in my no-shut-down rut. I have some intel that Emily will be tackling all of this and more – which is why I signed up already, and you should, too!

And you know what, it turns out that shutting down (your tech) (maybe also emotionally, under the right conditions!!) every now and again is actually really healthy and important!

I know that Emily will infuse the class with both tips and mindset shifts, because we’ve partnered at that very intersection to develop Change-Making Mindsets – one of TDAA’s most impactful projects! I hope you’ll join me in this opportunity, or keep it on your radar for the future. Wait… where do you store things like this for your radar? A new tab??? Before the cycle starts, sign up soon!

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