REFLECTION: I love it when seminar and conference participants share their stories and struggles with balance. It helps ease the pressure for us to hear of each other’s challenges and to know we’re not alone in our wacky responses to life’s stresses.
At a recent conference, I shared a few examples of the crazymaking things people do in their attempts to speed their way through the overloaded demands of the day. (If you’d like a refresher on this, check out my ‘Crazymaking World’ video clip on the Pauseworks website. )
During the morning break it was attendee Carol’s turn to make me laugh. She told me that when she wants to give something a half a minute in the microwave she punches in 33 seconds. She swears it’s faster to punch the same digit twice than to waste time looking for the 3 and the 0! I’m pretty sure 33 would be slightly faster. But the real question of importance is: “Does it make life slightly better?”
Carol also responded to a vignette I’d relayed of a busy parent screaming through the front door at day’s end – kicking backpacks and jackets out of the way and shouting out homework and supper instructions to the kids. Apparently this had been her style of re-entry, too, until the day her teenager asked, “Mom, do you walk through the door yelling even when there’s no one home?”
It was one of those ‘hold the mirror’, ‘dagger to the heart’ moments that caused Carol to stop and take a closer look at herself through the eyes of those who matter most.
ACTION: Here’s a 33:30 ‘hold the mirror’ challenge for you. Pay close attention to your ‘get things done faster’ strategies this week. See if, in stepping back to gain a bit of perspective, you can find something to laugh about, something to challenge, or something to change.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” – Dean Smith
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: If you’re in the mood to explore your experience even further, a speaker friend and colleague of mine, Stephanie Staples from Winnipeg, makes available a free e-book, Your Life Unlimited Guided Journal. It’s chock full of the kind of questions that make you go ‘hmmmm’ and help you tune in to what really matters in your life.
READERS WRITE: New Pause reader KL writes:
I had the privilege of hearing you speak at our recent conference. I have to say I am surprised at how hard it is to “pause”! Right after the conference while everyone was saying what lovely activity they would be doing for the rest of the day I rushed to say I had to go back to the hotel room to “work”; not that there was stuff to do that couldn’t wait, but more so to try to show off my busyness. Boy, do I need you!
Today, I got into the office late. I started to check voice mail and email at the same time. I saw your newsletter and started to open it up. How hilarious! I am multitasking the Pause newsletter! I realized the idiocy of this and put it aside until I had a moment to read it through without doing anything else. Anyway, I am a work in progress but want to thank you for raising my “pause” awareness. You are an island of calm in my crazy day.
Tags: attitude, burnout, focus, health, overload, overwhelm, Pat Katz, Patricia Katz, pause, perspective, productivity, purpose, Saskatoon, speaker, stress, technology, time, time out, wellness, workload