This is a short newsletter with a quick message during a month where, for many, it is a natural time to take a break. August is like that for so many people. Caught up in the swing of vacation, enjoying summer, moving at a slower pace, we take solace in the interlude before the back to school rush, the cooler weather, and the faster mindset.
For most of us, understanding the ebb and flow of time off and time on is especially easy during the summer months. Even as we are tethered to tech, we manage to ease into vacation and lighter schedules. We react less to work and respond more to relaxation. We understand where to stop and where to start. So, when we are no longer in vacation mode and summer is over, do we still understand the power of The Pause amid our chaotic everyday lives?
What I have learned is that pausing is really helpful. Pausing allows us to regroup, to rethink, to formulate our responses to the situations in front of us. When we do not frequent The Pause, we often send out energy that may be received as negative, even though that may not be our intent at all. Pausing in conversation, when speaking to a client, or in front of a group, can actually command more attention from others because people are excited to hear what is coming next. Pausing allows us to process our own thoughts, to think first, BEFORE we move forward. This translates in everyday life just as well as it does in business. Try it. PAUSE.
Pausing allows us to rest our minds, to formulate our vision, to say what we mean and mean what we say. Pausing keeps anger at bay and celebrates the moment we are in. The best thing that we can do for ourselves when we feel overwhelmed and frustrated is the one thing that we believe we have the least time for. PAUSE.
In our always-on worlds, we jump from task to task, from place to place. Our minds may seem like they are in the game, but truthfully, it is very hard to stay motivated and focused when we are juggling multiple balls and allowing frequent self-interuptions and restarts into our day. Multi-tasking has been proven to actually slow us down. Concentrating on tasks in smaller chunks of time with frequent breaks raises our productivity. Sometimes, slowing down our minds so that we can actually catch up to the hectic physical pace of our lives is important in terms of our overall health. Think of it as an adult "time out." PAUSE.
The Pause can be something as simple as not responding where we may normally. It can be taking the time to take that breath where we may otherwise have argued or gotten angry about a situation. Pausing allows us to take a walk, breath the fresh air, meditate, listen to music, or even to color! Pausing lets us sleep on it, think it over, process the information...and there is always so much information! The Pause is a technique that can help us to stay recharged and focused because when we are not living in yesterday or pre-determining tomorrow, we are more committed to participating in the moment in front of us. Less judgement, more communication. The Pause affords us time to think, process, and step away from our information overload. It allows us to access the agendas of others in order to best be present in moving forward with our own plans and agendas. The Pause keeps us grounded in what has the most value to us personally.
PAUSE. THINK. REPEAT.
The musical group The Plain White T's sings about pausing in their song entitled, "The Pause." Please PAUSE and watch!
I am dedicating this August Newsletter to KS, who has had a profound influence on making me the coach I am today and who introduced the opportunity of The Pause into my world.