Turn It All Off

For a few years now I've been a proponent of leaving my work computer locked but running when I go home for the night. After all, that way I can access if it I need to, and everything is where I left it when I come in the next morning.

But about a month ago I had a realization: I don't want to access my computer from home, and having everything where I left it is actually more of a problem then a help.

The first point comes down to the fact that I am trying more and more to leave work at work and live my life at home. The second point is more interesting to me.

It feels like it would be more effective to get to work, see where all your windows are, and get right back into what you were doing the night before. But it doesn't work that way. I found that I would get to work and have to pick through the various things that were left open, detritus of meetings and fleeting thoughts and three different lines of work all going on at once. I have to decide if terminal window is doing anything useful or is just open because I didn't close it. Why do I have an empty spreadsheet open? No clue.

So now I close everything down and turn the computer off every night. When I get to work the next morning I open the windows I need and start on the projects that, in the light of a new day, are the most obviously pressing. As an added bonus, all of the apps that only check for updates when they're restarted are more up to date.

So yeah, nothing huge or earth-shattering here. I just like the sense of “done with that!” that comes from shutting my work machine down every night, and the fresh start every morning.