Control – Alt – Delete For You!

“The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.”

~ Robert J. Shiller

Control – Alt – Delete

By Simon Tyler

One of the first actions I take when my PC becomes irritatingly slow at processing tasks is ‘Control – Alt – Delete’ which displays all the processes that are running and the computer’s memory power working on each of them. Lack of further useful knowledge means I rarely do anything with this information but am always curious about what the processes are, are they important, are they good for me, does my PC need to have them at all?

If you are a regular reader of these tipsletters you’ll have guessed already how much I’ll like and use this metaphor.

Coaching dialogues are often the mind version of ‘Control – Alt – Delete’, uncovering the plethora of processes, thoughts, tasks, to-dos that a client is working on, almost all unconsciously.

In my coaching I have noticed how long the list can go for most of us. Every item uses some of your power / focus / RAM – every loose piece of paper on your desk, notes around the home, calls yet to be returned, waiting on apologies or thanks, active tasks, dormant tasks, old mistakes, new ideas, plans, dreams, doubts.

Our brilliant capacity means much of this goes unnoticed and we go about our day comfortably. As the list grows though, our capacity to be at our best and work on new things and challenges can become exhausted.

I talk about this in my new, just released film, which you can view here.

My challenge for you this week is to press your personal ‘Control – Alt – Delete’. Grab a pen and paper and make the list. Go beyond the obvious. For best results work on this with a colleague (or even a coach!). You may wish to keep returning to your list over the course of a few days as new processes come to mind.

Now review your list. There may be obvious items that use up the majority of your memory power, and that tends to be where we apply our focus. Notice the long, long list of seemingly insignificant things that when combined are taking up space in your capacity. What can you complete, let go of, and action right now? DO IT, you WILL notice the difference.

Consider installing ‘Control – Alt – Delete’ as part of your personal maintenance program.

Simon Tyler is one of the world’s leading business coaches. His work simplifies the lives of business leaders and owners. He is an incisive consultant, inspirational writer, provocative public speaker and master facilitator. To learn more about Simon, visit

Coaching Call To Action

Stop! Set your timer for five minutes. Press your Control – Alt – Delete button and begin your list. When the timer goes off, review your list. What 3 items can you delete? Repeat! What are you learning about yourself?