If there’s a single experience that makes me seriously wonder how I could possibly think I could be a web designer / developer, it’s when my computer goes completely haywire and starts doing things that I don’t  understand at all, out of nowhere! This morning (Friday) was one of those times.

As I started up my computer, Windows 10 was apparently putting itself onto my computer for the second time. The second time?

Across the screen, in pristine white letters on the generic Windows blue are the the words  “Don’t worry. We left your files right where you left them.”

Oh … WHAT?  Who are you and why are you telling me this? They are always right where I left them!

Except that this time, they weren’t. No! They were completely missing! All of my work. Apparently gone. I discovered this when I went to grab the screenshot of the current site I’m working on and pop it into a post. The folders were empty. My heart fell into the pit of my stomach and just like that, the flow of the day went in a completely new (and not so welcome) direction.

There was a moment of panic.

Ok. More than a moment .… the panic hung out for quite a bit more than a moment, until I could laser focus on staying calm. so that the brain would function effectively. I needed clear brain, not overwhelmed brain to help access the backup system.

Restoring lost files was NOT in my plan for this day. My plan was to post a screen shot of piece of the current web  project in the Web Designer Beauty School Support forum, get a couple unanswered  questions answered, and then hunker in to the blog post/email offering for this Sunday.

The thing is it isn’t helpful to hang out in “worst case scenario”.

That spirals in a direction that solves nothing and  I needed to assess the situation and find a the most viable solution. In addition, the voice that was trying to take over was the one that said how could you be so stupid to let something like that happen ( in spite of the fact that I have backups in the cloud … Backblaze, my system of choice, is really good for that.)

(Take a break sweetheart! Really. That track will not solve this. That track will block any solution wanting to make itself known.)

Here is the difference between now and a year ago. Immediately, through the panic, I gave the situation over to the Divine within. Immediately. With some internal kicking and quiet screaming going on, I turned it over and said, “This belongs to you. I don’t know everything I need to know to solve it. Show me the next step.”

And step by step, the solution made itself known.  I had one window open to access my backed up files, one to Tosha Silver’s V-Day Q&A call (just hearing the soothing energy in her voice connected me to my own soothing energy).

I  started doing the simple things I knew to to – like reinstalling  the necessary add-ons to Firefox that allow me to work with ease. As I did that, one simple thing at a time,  I clicked on the Skype icon to log in. It asked me for the Microsoft login. That was new. I’ve never had to do that before.  Point of fact … I’ve avoided connecting my Skype and Microsoft accounts. By choice.

As I was reading through the information, the words “You need to login to Microsoft to access your files. Click here if you don’t have a log-in as admin.” I clicked instinctively while thinking “Wait! I do have an admin password for this computer. Why am I clicking? “

And the door that held the answer behind it opened.

It turns out my files were inaccessible because I was not logged into the account that gave access to them.

It was as simple as that! They were inaccessible because I was in the wrong place. Can you feel how rich that is with metaphor?

I still have no idea why or how it was I got a fresh install of Windows 10, or why I didn’t see the initial log-in screen that I always see when I start up my computer. That’s one to research. Just not today. Today I’ve had enough of that.

Meantime, there are some excellent digital tools that made this much easier than it has ever been in the past.  First, the files are backed up. Second, my passwords are stored very safely where I can easily access them. That is key.  This whole process would have felt numbingly overwhelming if I had had to dink around and recreate  password after password before I even got started.

The questions that arose out of the inaccessible files?

How can I streamline the process even more?  What can I put in place now to lessen potential overwhelm?

How can you streamline the processes in your life?  What can you put into place to lessen potential overwhelm?

I’d love to read about your streamlines and overwhelm hacks!  Please share in the comments