Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dealing with Frustration

Yes, that is my bottle of gatorade -- trapped in the vending machine.

Earlier this semester, on my way to class one night, I stopped at the vending machine to get a drink, slipped my money into the machine, selected gatorade and then watched as the bottle was dropped from the shelf and then promptly got wedged against the front of the machine -- stuck there. I knocked my fist against the plastic, as hard a a non-tenured faculty member can without creating a stir, and then realized, that bottle wasn't going anywhere. I didn't have any more correct change and so, no red sports drink for me that night. I did the next best thing which was to take out my iPhone and snap some photos. Otherwise though, it reminded me of other, higher-tech frustrations. This can be that time of year when a computer glitch can be even more frustrating than usual. So:

1. Be sure you are backing up your work. You should be backing up your work, period, either with a cloud back up or external hard drive (I do both). If you aren't backing up your work: then email documents and projects to yourself, so that you'll have them in your email if something goes wrong with your computer. Email each version, don't wait until you are done (in case something goes wrong mid-project).

2. Step away from the computer if you get frustrated. When you get frustrated, you don't think as clearly and are more likely to make a mistake (such as failing to save something, overlooking something in the project, etc). If your computer freezes, or something otherwise isn't working, take a break and calm down.

3. Find the humor. One of my former students somehow managed to get a jump drive stuck in her printer -- breaking both the drive and the printer! She was quickly able to laugh about how crazy that was and we still laugh about it today. Laughing at the moment allowed her to keep her stress level down and keep working.

Deep breath. You can do it!

Photo by HLS

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