• Jonathan Mitchell

Power of Pushing Pause

In our world addicted to moving all the time, so much information all the time, our phone is within our reach 24/7, social media happening all the time, overworked, overwhelmed, and exhausted.  We have lost the ability and importance of taking a break or PAUSING our lives to rejuvenate.


Especially with all the CoronaVirus/COVID-19 pandemic going on it is easy to get sucked into stats, opinions, graphs, and news constantly shooting fear into our lives.


By pause I mean lots of things like rest, pause, reflect, meditate, stop, slow down, take a break.


Let me use music for a moment to illustrate.  Think about your favorite song of ANY genre.  If the song was full out loud the ENTIRE song, would you still listen to it if it had no dynamics?  Would you listen to it if there was no movement involved with the song? 

The best songs are the ones that FLOW they move up and down and are not stagnant. 


I just watched the documentary, IT MIGHT GET LOUD.. click here to watch this section.

One of my favorite guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page, goes through dynamics and how he loves it through his song RAMBLE ON.  He says, "Dynamics, light and shade, whisper to the thunder, it invites you in, its intoxicating". Whenever I write music I always keep this in mind from a master of music. 



Let's take this same concept and apply it to life.  If your schedule/life/relationships were a song, would it be dynamic? With high parts and low parts? Do you take time to rest? to pause?  To build momentum into your life?


I read a book called, POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT.. where the authors go through and point out how in our society, we pride ourselves on being workaholics, always moving, always busy, always blasting through life.  They did studies on athletes and the ones who were #1 and everyone else after them.  They asked the question, "What is the biggest difference between those who are winning, successful, and are the #1's in their sport vs. those who are always second or just behind them and cannot catch up?  The biggest difference is energy flow and REST"


What they pointed out was that those athletes who were taking time to rest in between each point, each volley, each activity instead of going full out ALL the time, were more effective and ultimately successful.


Whenever I do independent business consulting, one of the biggest struggles I see with business owners of all levels was their inability to rest.  They were ALWAYS working.  No breaks, no vacation, no nothing. Most people say, "I do not have time to take breaks, that is a luxury I do not have"

The thing is, it does not just taking a vacation once a year, but doing things every day, every week, that allow you to pause and rest.  I am going to suggest a few things I have gathered over the years that helps me and others I have worked with.

They are:

1-Morning Power Hour

2-Small and short Rests/breaks during the day

3-Weekly Unplug and CREATE



MORNING POWER HOUR

I have worked with several powerful coaches for business and personal life.  Every single one of them talks about routine for success. 

What is a power hour?  In the morning when you first get up, its when you take care of yourself FIRST in your morning routine in all areas.  So that would be physical, spiritual, mental, emotional.  The thing to remember is that some people make this a 30 minute routine, some do it for 2 hours, the point is to make something that works for you.  If you have time for a full hour then great!  Only 30 minutes? That is ok too!


Here is an example of a power hour:

1-PHYSICAL-What you do is when you first get up, do something physical to wake yourself up, even as simple as doing pushups, jumping jacks, planks, and situps until you can't anymore.  Do something for 15-20 minutes. Grab a good breakfast, take another 15 minutes to make something (ideally you made it from the day before, but make it good for you! no junk food!)


2-After that take 10 minutes to sit and relax, meditate, listen to a song that relaxes you, do something that allows you to let go for a moment.  Your job is to just put everything on hold, your job, your relationship, money, business, friends, social media, EVERYTHING.  Just put it aside and allow yourself to be still.

3-At this point you should be up to the 40-45 minute mark, maybe 60 minutes.  Now you can take another 15 minutes to focus on your goals for the day, the week, and month.  Get yourself in the zone.


After that you are ready!  Get to work, start your calls, your business activity.  I have had SO many people say that when they did this it changed everything for them. 

I even had one guy who got up at 5:30 am and had to leave by 6:00 am to get to work with traffic, he committed to get up an hour earlier at 4:30 am and do this.  He found he no longer needed the extra sleep because he felt more energy throughout the day.


Or take a look at the picture above and follow that schedule, there are literally limitless versions of morning power hours that can get you in the zone fast, find what works FOR YOU.



SMALL AND SHORT BREAKS DURING THE DAY

This is one I read in the book, "POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT"  That is, to allow yourself TIME during the day.  They speak of a study about the human brain and how we need a break after 60-90 minutes of focused attention on anything.  Give yourself 5 minutes to walk around.  Even now as I have written this, I give myself several days to write a little bit, come back and re-read after a day break from this subject.  Helps me make sure I am clear and including everything that I would like.  Also helps me focus on this for a few minutes here and there.


No matter what you do, give yourself time to step away from your computer, your work, or business and go for a 10 minute walk.  Take a 30 min nap during lunch.  Do something that allows your mind to rest.  You will find like I have, that I am better able to focus when I return to work and able to get a TON more done.  Try this for a week and see how it goes!  Give yourself PERMISSION to let go for a few minutes.



WEEKLY UNPLUG and CREATE

I actually got this from a book called, "THE ARTIST'S WAY"  It is a book where the author goes through different things you can do to release your own creativity on whatever you want to release it on from music to art, design or whatever.  In the book, the challenge is to take one hour every week where you SCHEDULE a time that is unbreakable like a meeting with your boss, that is just FOR YOU TO UNPLUG FROM LIFE AND CREATE.


Again I hear people say, I DON'T HAVE TIME!  Let's get one thing straight, you make time for what you choose to take time for.  Do not give me the excuse that you do not have time or energy for something because you are choosing to overwork, to not invest in yourself, in others, in your business.  Every time a person tells me this, I just point out a friend of mine who is a single mom with 4 kids, runs her own successful business and STILL finds time to work out, do power hour, and be with family.  She is able to do this BECAUSE she takes time to unplug and pause!  Do things happen that make it a challenge? Absolutely!  That does not mean it is impossible to succeed.


So my challenge is, find a time every week you can let yourself create and enjoy your own "play" time.  For me it is on Saturday afternoons because my weekdays and nights are SLAMMED with different items, but Saturday afternoon is mine.


During this time, turn off the phone, put it in another room.  Make sure you take a second to relax, no pressure, just allow creativity to flow.  If you have kids, put on a movie, get a babysitter, do something so you can let go and focus.

I PROMISE YOU, that if you take the time to unplug, pause and refresh yourself, you will find you will have more energy to get everything you need to get done.  It is not your time that is pressed, its your attention and energy.  Make your time as productive as possible by making your life like a song, ebb and flow, loud and soft, plug in and unplug, Push play and push PAUSE.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or a licensed mental health professional. If you are in need of professional help I use and recommend BetterHelp. They will match you with a therapist that you can skype, email or talk to on the phone for an affordable monthly price. To find a mental health care provider near you call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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