I can see you rolling your eyes already, but there’s a lot of value in this tech gag.
I.T. people like me don’t say this line to wind you up, but because it works. Instead of seeing the reboot as a last-ditch, frustrated attempt to get your computer to work, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress if you make reboots and updates a regular part of your tech routine.
The humble reboot does a lot for your tech. It’s like when we turn off during a good night’s sleep; we wake up more refreshed and ready to start the day.
For parents of babies or others with sleep struggles, you know what it’s like to run days on empty without a break. When we don’t sleep or rest enough, we are more vulnerable to colds, crankiness or shutting down completely.
Look at your overworked computer or server* that’s gone weeks without a reboot like a sleep-deprived, cranky, struggling to get up and go, accident-prone parent. You may still be able to force yourself to do what you need to do, but it’s like walking through sludge.
And sometimes when we’ve had a bad day or made a mistake, we need to sleep on it. A reboot is another way for to recover from errors.
So, when things are running painfully slow, experiencing errors or weak internet connectivity; your browser is taking ages to respond, or you’re having software issues - reboot and run your operating system updates. Updates can take a while, so schedule them when you have a quieter moment.
I love a good analogy, so here’s another one. Your car will still run if the oil is a bit old and dirty. But mucky oil decreases fuel economy and performance. By changing your car’s oil and giving it some attention with regular servicing, your fuel will last longer, your vehicle’s performance will markedly improve, and it will generally last longer.
A reboot should be a regular part of your computer’s care and maintenance routine. It increases the longevity of your tech, makes it less vulnerable to attacks and improves the overall performance by making it more efficient, secure and reliable. If you’ve installed new software, you should also reboot as soon as possible so it can start again with the changes.
So, have you tried rebooting it?
*Not all servers are created equal of course. Some operating systems are more stable than others and shouldn’t be rebooted as often, while cloud based servers are out of your control.
Take care of your tech by decluttering your systems and software and reducing the level of information your hard drive holds. The end of the year or the beginning of a new one is a great time to give your tech a spring clean. Not only will this improve your tech’s performance, but it will also mitigate your security and privacy risks.
Finally, as a brand-new year and decade approaches, give yourself and your tech a break. Commit to making the humble reboot (for both you and your devices) a regular fixture of your 2020.
Until next time, The I.T Psychiatrist wishes you and your loved ones a safe, fun and happy Christmas and New Year.
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