I Almost Wasted Time But Here’s Why I Didn’t


I got my iMac back with a brand new hard drive and fresh operating system. All that was left to do was restore from my backup. Estimated restore time was over 6 hours, so I let it run overnight.

I woke up early the following morning, ready to conquer the day and make up for lost time. Much to my chagrin, though the restoration had successfully completed, it encountered the same failure to startup once I rebooted.

Long story short, after more attempted fixes, I had to bring the computer back into the shop. It appears to be a software-related problem with the backup I have, but the jury is still out and I’m still waiting to hear back on it.

It’s been numerous trips all day, taking the computer in a second time, then coming home once more upon request to bring the external drive for troubleshooting. It’s all left me pretty exhausted. When I got home, I just wanted to give up on the day and spend the rest of my waking hours playing video games for the first time in 3 months as a way of escape.

But I glad to tell you I didn’t do that. Very glad.

A Lesson in Limitation

My first instinct upon arriving home was to focus on all of the tasks I needed to do that required my iMac. Of course, my brain was doing this because it knew that my iMac was gone and it would simply leave room for the excuse to say “Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to be lazy today!” I knew that would only lead to wasted time.

I took a moment to sit in my bean bag for some mental clarity. I realized that I needed to break down my tasks hierarchically.

I wrote out tasks I needed to do that required my iMac—and I put those things aside. Then I wrote down the tasks other tasks that maybe weren’t as important, but at least could be done without my iMac. These were things like writing and brainstorming for my upcoming workshop.


I was able to knock out a bunch of emails, respond to a long series of interview questions, write this newsletter and complete a whiteboard braindump/mindmap of topics and notes for my workshop later this month.

This really helped me get out of the slump I was in as a result of feeling down about my computer.

To take this exercise a step further, task lists can be broken down by required time increments. For instance, you can have a list of 5-minute tasks that can be completed rather quickly.

This way, if you find yourself in the middle of the day with a few spare minutes between projects, you can look to your 5-minute task list instead of opening up a Facebook tab.

I’m Doing Something Right

It’s frustrating to miss yet another podcast this week, but I’m reminded that if someone missed listening to the podcast this week, then I must be doing something right.

I got this in an email from a listener yesterday:

Missing just one day really made me realize how much value you bring to your audience and to my life on a weekly basis. This is a moment of gratitude rather than disappointment.
– Heather

seanwes-portrait I’m so thankful for that kind of encouragement from listeners. That’s why I do what I do.

Here’s hoping next week I’ll be back with a vigor!



Update: After having to miss 2 podcast episodes this week, I finally got my iMac back. However I had yet another scare—this time with the backup! After I restored, the computer would not boot up, causing me to fear it might be a corrupt backup. I took it in a second time and thankfully after another couple days in the shop, they were able to recover everything and get me back up and running!

I’m finally back in business after 4 days of being out of commission. While I feel very fortunate to have had a local Time Machine backup, I’m now rethinking my entire system. I’ve taken the opportunity to add another layer of backup by getting Backblaze as an online/off-site backup solution. It has unlimited storage, so it’s a nice added peace of mind in case anything ever happened locally.

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