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PAUSE – 19.04 – Turn Down The Screen – Turn Up Your Life

April 3, 2019

Reflection: Not long ago I found myself in my doctor’s reception area, waiting for my appointment. Also waiting were three young moms each with infants in car carriers parked at their feet.

All the little ones were awake and alert. All the moms were elsewhere – eyes glued to the screens of their smart phones making no effort to connect with their babies.

Now maybe they were dealing with important issues at a distance. Or maybe they were exhausted and just enjoying the quiet. (I do remember that parenting a little one can really take it out of you!)

But here’s the challenge. (more…)

PAUSE – 16.11 – What Can You Do To Renew You?

April 13, 2016

Renew-wReflection: It’s been 20 or 30 years since we first started talking about work-life balance. The main challenge in the early days seemed to be that work ate up an inordinate share of our time and energy – squeezing out space for life’s other jobs and joys.

Over the years, the way we talk about this issue has changed. We’ve gone from balance as a distant objective, to flex as a decent workaround, to harmony as a desirable possibility, to integration as a reasonable compromise, to flow as a utopian ideal.

Although the language has changed, so has the culture and the technology. Expectations continue to grow, techno tools multiply, and multitasking runs rampant. The core challenge remains. There’s still not enough of US (that’s ME and YOU) to go around.

Here’s what I have noticed. We’ve become very good at injecting work tasks into what we previously referred to as ‘off-hours or down-time’. We check email while we tend the stir-fry. We fire off a text while keeping half an eye on the TV or the kids.

We’ve become better at wedging personal needs into our ‘working hours’. We take a mid-day break to ferry a parent to a doctor’s appointment. We leave work early to catch a youngster’s soccer game.

Sadly, we still fall short when it comes to working our own needs for R & R (relief and renewal) into the equation.

 

Action: Whether you pursue balance, flex, harmony, integration or flow, here are three strategies that are essential to sustaining yourself along the way. (more…)

PAUSE – 15.34 – Ditch the Digital Dipsy-Doodling

November 11, 2015

Time Sink-wReflection:  When I deliver sessions on overload and overwhelm at work and in life, these are questions that often arise. Maybe you’ve asked them yourself!

  • Why can’t I focus in the midst of distractions?
  • Why do I keep interrupting myself, even when I’m on a roll?
  • Why do I feel exhausted at the end of my day?

The answers vary. But there is one modern habit that definitely contributes to these experiences – our 3D habit of Digital-Dipsy-Doodling. (I love that phrase – and wish I could take credit for it, but I can’t. See resources of the week for the origin and two articles that say more about this experience.)

You may well be familiar with 3D behavior, yourself. It’s the practice of jumping around between email, twitter, facebook, instagram, and the many other diversions of the web at large.

Why do we do it? It could be FOMO – fear of missing out. Or, it could be (as neuroscience suggests) that fresh doses of info send zingers of dopamine to the brain. Dopamine feels good. And, so, we Dipsy-Doodle – again and again – moving ever further away from what we had initially set out to accomplish.

While we are busy jumping around like grasshoppers on Red Bull, we may not even be aware that all this switching takes energy. The more we leapfrog, the less we accomplish, and the more exhausted we feel.

Doped up and depleted was probably not how any of us envisioned our days unfolding. Welcome to the downward spiral of digital distraction!

 

Action: So what’s a busy body to do? (more…)

Pause Gem #31 – Should You Unitask Or Multitask?

July 23, 2014

UniTasking-wReflection & Action: A business man races through the Denver airport towing his roller board suitcase with one hand – briefcase and coat balanced precariously on top. His ‘free’ hand, held near one ear, grips boarding card and cell phone. Deep in phone conversation and all but oblivious to his surroundings, he steps onto an ‘up’ escalator that, instead of taking him down one floor, dumps him back where he started.

The mind-racing, self professed ‘Efficiency Queen’ confesses to blurting out this phrase in the heat of an intimate moment with her husband: “Man, those bagels are sure going to taste good in the morning!”

A frenzied mother tells her teenage daughter to take her dinner plate to the counter and eat standing up so that the girl can empty the dishwasher and finish dinner at the same time.

Three real people. Three real events. All three actions share one belief – that it’s a waste of time to do only one thing at once. Multitasking rules!

There are times when multitasking does make sense. There are times when it does not. (more…)

Pause Reader Reactions To ‘Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?’

April 1, 2014

Quill pen-wSome messages seem to touch more of a nerve than others. Many ezine and blog readers responded to the recent Pause message about disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with humanity.

In case you missed it or might like to refresh yourself on the content, here is the link to the original message: Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?

Here’s what Pause readers had to say about their own experiences with this issue:

 

LL writes: I started to leave my phone upstairs when I go to bed at night. I used to use it as an alarm clock but not anymore. I just felt like this was starting to be a heavy bedroom partner and got rid of it! My husband is now my alarm clock!

 

LC writes: I know what you mean!  It’s not just the young people anymore either.  Yikes – I think we are caught up in the hype and the allure of technology.  The most likely response is that the makers of the devices will ensure they can be smaller so people can’t see when you’re on them. It’s going to be a long time before this pendulum swings back the other way I fear.

 

(more…)