How to be more productive by shutting off your computer

p 2 90639307 doing this one thing with my computer at night helps me be more productive all day

When’s the final time you really turned your computer off as an alternative of placing it to sleep? I’m unsure I’ve for the reason that ’90s—that’s, till a number of weeks in the past. Now I flip it off each evening, and it’s been life altering.

I’ve been on a path of productiveness enhancements not too long ago, and one of many issues I’ve been doing is reflecting on how issues are proper now. I’ve a implausible work journal that I take advantage of to log wins, classes, and enhancements I make every week.

A number of weeks in the past, I had a protracted weekend. I randomly determined to shut my computer off earlier than I left work on Friday. Once I got here in on Tuesday, I observed a unique feeling beginning up my day. I felt more energizing and clearer than I had in weeks. I sat and mirrored with my journal on why that was. It might have been my longer break, however I actually felt prefer it was the contemporary begin on my computer. No apps open from final week, no open tab chaos in Chrome, no Slack messages lingering, no baggage.


My unimaginable coach, Latesha Byrd, taught me that beginning my day enjoying catch-up was doubtless affecting my temper and productiveness. The very first thing I used to do firstly of my day was make amends for Slack. This made me really feel behind earlier than I even began. I couldn’t assist however marvel: Did shutting my computer down assist offset that feeling? So I attempted it once more that evening. Earlier than I left my desk on the finish of the day, I closed all of my apps and shut down my computer.

The following day, I had the identical feeling. That contemporary begin, something is feasible, clear headspace. It was magic. I wasn’t beginning my day precisely the place I left it. As a substitute, I used to be beginning the day with a brand new perspective and a clean canvas of countless potentialities.

I did it for the entire week. I used to be so productive.

Why it labored

I’m a morning productiveness particular person. Shutting down my computer meant I used to be now not losing my burst of a.m. vitality on catch-up and yesterday’s issues. As a substitute, I used to be using that vitality to full a brand new activity or assume on a brand new downside.

I additionally observed that shutting down my computer feels a bit like shutting down my work mind. If my computer is on and the whole lot is open, I would be tempted to pop in and examine on work after hours. Shutting it down provides me permission not to take into consideration work till tomorrow once I flip that computer on once more.

Automating the behavior

It is a new behavior I’ll positively maintain doing, so I created some workflows to make it simpler. I take advantage of an Alfred workflow to rapidly shut all of my open apps (when you shut down a Mac with your apps open, they’ll be there the following day to hang-out you continue to) and shut down my computer.


I additionally created a workflow to begin up my day with all of the important apps I would like to get going.

Shut it down

Once I was a child, I keep in mind my mum yelling at me to shut down the household computer and are available and eat dinner. You’d by no means depart the computer switched on—it could be a surprising waste of electrical energy. A lot the identical as leaving the TV on with out watching it. Plus, the computer would most likely blow up when you left it on too lengthy (or a minimum of the noisy followers within the PC tower would make you are feeling like it could).

Once I was older and in school, I would depart my computer on in a single day so I might rapidly begin work within the morning or obtain a movie whereas I used to be asleep. Even so, after some time, I’d have to shut it down or it could begin getting gradual. One thing concerning the magic of turning the computer off would give the whole lot a reset, and your computer would get again up to velocity.

Now, in a world of 24/7 web entry, expertise convergence, and an on-demand tradition, we hardly ever flip off our units. On the motion pictures, we swap our telephones to silent; on flights, we activate airplane mode; and at evening, we put our laptops to sleep.

However simply because you may depart your computer turned on doesn’t imply it is best to. Keep in mind: your computer is a tool. Shutting mine down day by day jogs my memory of that and permits me to cease working when it’s time. Attempt it out your self.

This article initially appeared on Zapier’s blog and is reprinted with permission.