Remembering to pause


Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan (Creative Commons)

Running headlong into my day seems to be the norm lately. There’s so much on my plate that it feels there is hardly a moment to waste – the list feels like it goes on forever, the interruptions disrupt my train of thought. There’s always something else – a new challenge, a new task, a new responsibility.

Even if I had 48 hours in a day, I wonder if I could ever catch up. But that’s when it’s most important to take a step back. To stop blindly stumbling forward. To pause.

One of my three focus words for this year is PAUSE (read more here), and it seems to be the one I’m having the most trouble remembering. Living in such a busy world, it’s hard to justify slowing down – or stopping.

And yet, pausing might be the single most effective way to deal with all the busyness.

How much more could I accomplish if I just pause first thing in the morning to plan out my day? Create a list and plan for what needs to be done, leaving time in the day for the interruptions and emergency situations that always seem to pop up.

Leaving a few minutes at the end of the day to re-evaluate and set myself up for success the next day would help me too, especially since the activities of the day would still be fresh in my mind.

One of the most important things I need to do, though, is to pause to rest. Instead of moving directly from thing to thing to thing – I need to take a break – even just a few minutes, to redirect my attention and my energy. That might be a chat with a friend, or a walk around the block, or even just a few minutes of reading or just sitting on the porch. On weekends, I need to unhook even more, and not try to cram as much as possible into the time but to recognize that rest heals my body and spirit.

How much more effective could you be if you learned to pause?