Mar 17

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Oxford Life Coach: Password policy

I know that I should check my email just once or twice each day. But I’m not built like that, and until someone invents a device that prevents me from checking obsessively (whether seized by fits of procrastination or not), it’s not going to change.

I did try and put myself off a bit by making my password fiendishly complicated (a random collection of upper and lower case letters and numbers with no apparent pattern or meaning). The problem is that if you type something twelve times in one morning, it soon trickles off the fingers with little effort.

Here a suggestion for picking a more user friendly password that may do  more favours than discouraging an email obsession.

Make your password work for you.

We might type in passwords for our email, computer, facebook or twitter accounts several times each day. Rather than using a cunning combination of the dog’s birthday and the cat’s maiden name, pick a password that will provide a mini pep talk each time it’s keyed in.

If you’re training for a marathon, or the local 10k, why not log in with ‘SuperRunner’? If you’re improving your diet, what about ‘HappyHealthyEater’? If you’re working on your confidence, try ‘IsAGreatNetworker’. And if you’re reconnecting with the lighter side of life try ‘SmilesALot’. Get the idea? Write in the present tense and make it positive. ‘IsANon-Smoker’ is far more effective than ‘WillQuitTheCiggies’.

I log in to my email several times a day. Typing my little personal affirmation (which I’m keeping to myself thank you very much!) gives me a conscious reminder of what I’m working towards (or a bit of a shove). It also subconsciously stimulates the brain by associating one’s name with something positive. For example: Username: ‘Joe_Bloggs’; Password: ‘HasTheBodyOfAGod’.

Think it, write it, believe it, do it!

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