The pause is important.
I found the pause this month in my first coaching session of the year. My Coach helped me to pause and reflect.
- To think about what’s important.
- To help me focus on things that matter.
No new insights. No big breakthroughs and yet so much value in making the time to pause. I knew what I had to do. Just lost sight of a few things, which came sharply back in focus. Thanks coach 🙂
I found the pause again on my wife’s birthday.
- We both took the day off.
- Spent time together.
- Chose not to let the barrage of emails infiltrate our day of togetherness.
- Kept work at bay.
- We talked.
- Shared a meal together.
Simple things that our frantic world often denies us. Our pause helped us get some ‘us time’.
We enjoyed the pause. We fought hard for the pause.
We all have access to a pause button. The question is – Do you choose to use it? Do you know its power?
Think of the tiny flight mode button on your phone. Do you remember during your last flight, how many times that hassled cabin attendant reminded you or your co passenger to turn on the flight mode and switch off, so that the flight could take off safely? It does feel scary at first to disconnect.
While this forced pause may cause momentary irritation, it has great benefits. I have had some of my best ideas on a flight. Read so many books. Worked on something that was ‘important but not urgent’. All because I had turned my flight mode ON.
Nature, in her inimitable way, forces us to pause too. Sleep, for instance. There is a growing body of evidence on the power of a good night’s sleep. The sleep mode, like the flight mode, rejuvenates and is essential for functioning.
My professional and personal life is governed by this simple law of nature too. The pause gives it power.
One hour of coaching.
One day of making time for each other.
Identifying this was simple. The difficult part was to act on it. The key thing to remember is that we have to fight for the pause. Put it right at the top of the list. It is easier said than done. I very nearly talked myself out of taking the time off. I had to fight with myself. Fight very hard.
I had to fight guilt. I have meetings that I have scheduled
I had to fight other commitments. I have deadlines (all of which I finally juggled and found ways to get done on other days)
I had to fight the temptation to multitask. May be I will take the afternoon off and finish all the work in the morning
Of all the fights, the temptation to multitask was the hardest to overcome. The idea that I can fit it all in is alluring. This is what trips me up so very often. As a result neither do I get the benefit of the pause in terms of downtime, nor do I get all that I need done. This becomes a huge part of the problem.
Some say that you can pause the personal but not the professional. Or vice versa. I believe it is very difficult to compartmentalise life into neat boxes. When I’m happy at work I bring the smile home with me. When I’m happy at home I take joy to work. We all do. That’s how it works. So, finding the pause in both spheres of life, is really important.
First find your pause button. Take charge of your mental health and wellness.
What works for you? It may be a sport, it may be meditation, it may be a run or it may be some kind of fun. Understand what gives you pause.
Then, fight even harder to use the pause button. And when you pause, you really pause. It’s not I-am-on-leave-but-will-join-that-call-to mark-attendance pause. It’s not on-the-treadmill-checking-mails pause.
Turn Flight mode ON.
Interestingly, all that kept you awake, gets pushed, rescheduled, drops off from priorities – more often than not. And frankly, the universe can wait while you plug in to your universe.
Burn out or burn bright. The choice is yours. Just pause to think once, before you pick your pause.
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