The Benefits of PausingFeb 15, 2021
When is the last time you stepped out of the constant blur of calls, meetings and never ending to-dos? How long has it been since you paused, took a step back and thought about how things are going? The world today doesn’t lend well to pausing. We’re always on the go, even when we’re virtual. Jumping from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting, filling our free time with social media scrolling, podcast listening and anything else to make sure we are maximizing our time.
And, inevitably, what happens is we feel trapped. We are exhausted, overloaded and overwhelmed with everything on the to-do list. Instead of continuing to blaze forward and ignore the signs our body and our mind are giving us, we should press pause. Think about that concept. Not quitting, but rather taking a break to refuel, refresh and refocus.
Sometimes we are so focused on a goal that we don’t realize what’s not working. Only by pausing, stepping out of the constant chaos and looking at what we are doing critically can we really address the problems and refocus our efforts.
Dump the extra fluff.
When we pause and reevaluate, we usually are able to see where the fluff is. We all spend time on things that aren’t actually helping us reach our goals. But we can’t see what those things are unless we stop everything and look critically at our efforts. Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to cleaning up the house or going through the closet. Go through your work. What are you spending time on that isn’t making progress towards your purpose and goals? Where is your time being pulled on by others? Make an inventory list and clean out the trash.
Better understand your why.
The daily grind can be so encompassing we can sometimes forget to look at the big picture. We are so caught up in our daily to do list and making it to the end of the day that we can forget the WHY of our work. This can leave us feeling unmotivated, drained and miserable throughout our day. By pausing and remembering our why, our purpose and how our to-dos contribute to that purpose, we can reclaim our energy, our excitement and our enthusiasm about our work. Taking a timeout to remind ourselves what the effort is for is a game changer for our perspective and attitude.
Build your strength and seize new opportunities.
By giving ourselves a break and time to look at our goals, we give ourselves strength. We can’t be on 24/7. We need to give ourselves time to refresh our minds and our bodies. Just like we work out our bodies and give it time to refuel and rest, we have to do the same for our minds. Building our mental strength is just as important as building our physical strength. By pausing, we can give our brains the reset and rest they need to grow stronger and more focused.
Taking a pause also opens our minds to new possibilities. If we are always moving, we can’t always see what’s ahead on the horizon. When we rest, we can look forward, evaluating all our efforts and seeing if the horizon line is even still the same. There may be new opportunities available to us that we can only see if we slow down and actively look.
So as we hurdle along through life, remember to make time to pause. We may think it’s a waste of time to sit and do nothing but refocus, rest and refuel, but our bodies and our minds need this space to grow. Pausing allows us to grow stronger and be more intentional. The next time you feel overwhelmed, block out your time to refocus on what matters, dump the fluff, remember your why and look forward.