Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 13.34 – Traction As A Stress Reducer

Spinning Wheels-wReflection: One of life’s great frustrations and stressors is that feeling that you’re not getting anywhere. Or, if you are in motion, that you’re just spinning your wheels or going in circles.

I’ve written before about Amabile and Kramer’s work on the Progress Principle, and how motivating it can be to see evidence of moving things forward in your work and your life – to deliver on an action promise made to yourself or someone else.

With the end of the year clearly in sight, you may be asking, “Where did those last eleven months go, and why am I not further ahead with X, Y or Z?”

Part of the challenge is that life tosses a lot of distractions our way. We can easily be pulled off course responding to the new and shiny or engaging in the quick and easy. In the meantime, the high level work – the big ideas – the important pursuits – languish for want of attention.

It’s still not too late to make progress before the end of the year on something that matters to you.


Action: Here are eight actions that can help you make space for and gain traction on the high level work in your world. (I’m particularly partial to number six.)

  1. Identify what the high level task is, and why it matters.
  2. Get specific about defining the outcome.
  3. Break the project into smaller tasks and create a timeline for action and reporting.
  4. Share your plan and make a public commitment to progress.
  5. Reserve prime time slots on your calendar. Make it sacred.
  6. Find a place to work in bursts of focused attention without interruption.
  7. Determine how and when you will treat yourself for moving forward.
  8. Reap the rewards of accomplishment and use it to fuel what comes next.

Give one or more of these actions a try. Even a little bit of progress can relieve a whole lot of stress.


Quote Of The Week: Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Attributed to Carl Bard


Resource Of The Week: This link will take you to a pdf of the eight steps for Making Room For High Level Work. Feel free to print and post or share the link with colleagues to help keep this approach in mind as you wind up this year and move into the next.


Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, What Would It Take To Be More In The Moment, Pause reader KI writes: Your ezine struck a chord with me today. Especially resonant were these words: These experiences are present every single day, but are we? The moments are all we really have. Don’t let them pass you by – unnoticed, unmarked, unappreciated.

I have had a difficult year, experiencing five deaths in my inner circle. I am now treasuring each and every moment I have in my memory banks shared with those five people who no longer live in my world. I have been blessed by the presence of each one of them in my life.

The moments in my memory are mostly simple pleasures and sweet treasures of time. Amongst them are moments when we held each other up in the storms of life – theirs and or mine. There are moments when we laughed until breathless, or just sat in gentle companionship.

I am so very grateful for their lives, and for the footprints they left through mine. A gentle reminder to your readers: Notice the people who make your life rich. You will not have them forever.

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Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

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