Leadership Habits: Pause

Are you tired, confused, or overwhelmed? Both professionally and personally, these feelings are commonly experienced and expressed verbally and nonverbally. We all repeatedly experience these states of being. In fact, we cannot completely eliminate these feelings. Our bodies are designed to get tired. Our minds get scrambled with confusion when things do not make sense. Our emotional state ignites with feeling overwhelmed when an avalanche of stimulus consumes us.

There is an answer to tiredness, confusion, and being overwhelmed.

The answer is “pause.”

The pause allows us to refresh, focus, and prioritize.   Refresh is the antidote to tiredness, focus is the remedy for confusion, and prioritization is the medicine for feeling overwhelmed.   Pause and read that sentence again. Let it soak into your soul.

Pausing is not an event, it is a habit. The pausing habit occurs moment-by-moment, day-by-day, and month-by-month. Learning how to pause and when to pause is the key to making this a meaningful habit.

How to pause takes on many different forms. Breathing deeply, sitting still, praying, journaling, being alone, napping, closing your eyes, listening, turning off your device, stretching, and walking are a few examples. Find what works for you.

Reflection Question

What pause behaviors work best for you?

When to pause is just as important as how to pause. Pause early and often to preemptively reduce or eliminate tiredness, confusion, and feeling overwhelmed. The daily habit of a morning reflection and prioritization time is a powerful way to start the day. Personal retreats are a form of extended pauses that have huge benefits to bring clarity and focus. The key is to find your rhythm of pausing.

Reflection Question

When should you pause early and often?