Time To Pause?
Here we are.
February Groundhog’s Day Valentines Day Super Bowl. Also the month of yours truly’s birthday my youngest son’s birthday my mother-in-law’s birthday AND we are expecting a new grandson any day now and it promises to be another crazy month.
[should I leave myself a second to catch a breath and add punctuation? No, no time…]
All this after the hustle and bustle of the holidays shopping parties family the beautiful chaos of grandchildren. Then before we have a chance to breathe, the new year upon us. Everyone, everywhere urging us to hit the ground running new goals new budgets. sales kick-off.
Every other post on LinkedIn about setting goals for personal and professional growth: get up earlier and stay up later to get stuff done. Out-hustle the competition, drive focus. life hacks.
I’m just as guilty.
I have a morning routine to send a text to my two adult sons.
As I look back on the texts, they are filled with “Make it a great week”, “Let’s rock this thing”, do-this do-that. Push Drive Focus.
Just. Push. Play.
It might be time to…
We all get caught up in the:
- drive to succeed (whatever your definition of success may be).
We forget to pause, reflect, re-charge.
For me, the reminder came at a time when I needed it most.
In addition to the whirlwind that is the holidays and the start of a new year, my father passed away in mid-December.
Planning the services (yes, we had two), making arrangements for his cremation, holding the services, family events, notifying his bank and investment firms, dispersing funds to his heirs…all the details and tasks that must be given attention.
And then the reminder came…
…in the form of a note from a colleague:
I know the clashing feelings of relief that your loved one is no longer in pain and also missing them terribly. And I know the bewilderment of watching the rest of the world breeze right along at an absurd pace while you are like, “Wait a minute, can we all pause please. This deserves a pause.”
I hope you find time to pause. This does deserve a pause.
The power of a pause.
You don’t have to be grieving the loss of a loved one to benefit from a pause.
- body needs it.
- mind needs it.
- heart needs it.
Ask a personal trainer.
They will tell you one of the most important parts of working out is the pause between reps; the pause between intense workouts; the pause away from the gym.
Our muscles recover; the tissue regenerates; and bodies come back stronger.
Not only is it beneficial, but it is also required
Ask a professional speaker.
One of the most effective ways to make a point is to pause. To stop moving on stage. To hold silence for one, two, three seconds or more.
The silence grabs the audience. It causes them to pay attention. It gives them a moment to reflect on the point.
Ask a doctor.
A pause in the form of sleep is needed to restore energy.
A pause will help our bodies heal from an injury and recover from an illness. It will help to prevent illness in the first place.
As leaders, we need a pause. Our followers need one. They also need us to pause.
It’s a powerful thing.
It gives us time to rest.
A time to reflect.
And, it gives us time to recharge.
My challenge to you today is not to do more.
Rather, my challenge to you is to do less.
Take a timeout.
Put aside the to-do list and all the things that must get done.
Put down the phone.
Clear your mind of the thousands of issues you are trying to solve.
Build a fire in the fireplace and just watch the flames.
Take a walk and listen to the sounds around you.
Find a peaceful spot to sit. and. just. be…still.