Slowing down can be hard. If you work in a job that is fast-paced, demanding, or highly task-oriented, you can start to feel like a hamster on a wheel. If you're a "Type A" person with a healthy dose of perfectionism (Type 1 on the Enneagram), you may put pressure on yourself to constantly achieve and keep the wheel moving (and usually faster than the day before).
In today's connected world, with so much coming at us, we can sometimes feel a fight or flight response in reaction to the stress, "noise," and demands. If you're facing a fight or flight response, pressing the pause button is an option that shouldn't be overlooked.
Pressing the pause button is important because if we don't, life will come at us in the form of burnout, overwhelm, exhaustion, breakdown and/or illness. Maybe you've experienced a time when you got caught up in all the things and didn't take time to pause. Maybe you're there now, needing this message and needing to hit press pause.
When should you hit the pause button?
1. When you're under the weather. Illness is a strong signal that perhaps you're overdoing it. It's your body's way of signaling to you to take a rest.
2. When you need to make an important decision. Whether it's to "sleep on it" or to give yourself time to make an intentional choice, hit the pause button during this time.
3. When you're not giving your best. When you know your standard of excellence you've set for yourself and realize that you're not living up to your own expectations, you probably need to hit the pause button. Re-evaluate and re-energize before taking on another task.
4. When the busy-ness leads to boredom. Spending time on menial tasks that don't lead to end results can be a sure sign of needing to hit the pause button and take time to re-visit priorities.
5. When you need a break. Consistently pushing yourself without time for rest and recovery can lead to burnout.
What does hitting the pause button look like?
- It may be taking time for deep breathing
- It could be taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- It could mean taking a break from social media
- It may mean spending time doing something you love
- It could mean leaving the email in draft form instead of sending immediately
- It may be closing your office door and turning off the lights for a few minutes
- It might be a walk around the block, building, or parking lot
While you may not be able to slow the pace of your life, you may be able to put some calm in it by pressing the pause button at important and regular times.
I would love to hear how you "Press Pause" in your own life. You can leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook.