PAUSE – 19.09 – Take A Power Nap For A Power Boost
September 4, 2019
Reflection: As a youngster, I spent more than a few summer days at my Grandfather’s farm. Each day after his noon lunch, Grandpa grabbed a scratchy red wool plaid blanket, and headed out behind the house.
There, in the caragana windbreak, he stretched out for a nap on a set of rusty old bedsprings he had strategically placed in the shade. Jack, as he was called by his friends, was definitely a man ahead of his time.
Research from Harvard (which I’m sure Grandpa never read) has proven what he knew from experience – that a mid day nap increases productivity and gifts you with the mental freshness of morning all over again.
As a student in elementary school, when we returned to our desks following the noon hour break, our teachers would read us a chapter or two from an ongoing novel.
We were encouraged to rest our heads on our desks to listen, and nobody cared whether you tuned in to the story or caught forty winks. I often thought that the teachers would have enjoyed putting their heads down on the desk and having someone read to them!
We’re learning more all the time about the impact of naps. (more…)
PAUSE – 16.21 – The Powerful Impact Of Powering Down
June 22, 2016
Reflection: Better focus? Greater health and well-being? More creative thoughts? Could you use more of these?
According to recent research by the Energy Project and Harvard Business Review, they’re easier to access than you might think. Just step away from the work.
The study showed that employees who break every 90 minutes to pulse between work and renewal report:
- 28% better focus
- 30% greater health and well-being, and a
- 40% increase in creative thinking
This is just one more in a long series of research findings that confirm this fact: time out delivers a significant return on investment!
Action: Adopting this practice and reaping the rewards takes shifting from intention to action.
It’s easy to get caught up in the flow and frenzy of the work, and overlook the breaks. Use a timer reminder on your calendar. Set it to ring at 90 minute intervals. Add software to your computer that will interrupt you on a schedule of your choice to invite you to stretch and move.
Then choose a renewing pause – one that honors what you need at the time:
- If you’re sitting, movement and stretching are good.
- If you’re stuck indoors, a little fresh air will help.
- If you’re holed up working solo, a bit of social interaction may help.
- If you’re wrangling with serious issues, humor can lighten the mood.
- If you’re surrounded by people, solo time can reset your equilibrium.
Build in the breaks. Choose a contrasting experience. And, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the powerful impact of powering down. (more…)
PAUSE – 15.25 – It Only Take A Spark
September 9, 2015
My Thoughts: “It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around will warm up to its glowing.” That’s the opening line of a tune by Kurt Kaiser that may be familiar to many.
Once upon a time, in a life long ago, I adapted those lyrics in the form of a friendship song for a summer camp that I directed. From time to time, that tune still shows up as an earworm in my brain. I don’t mind. The words still ring as true today as they did back then.
When you are excited about something in your world, when you have a light in your eyes and even a most modest fire in your belly, the impact (on you and others around you) is both positive and contagious.
Your Thoughts: What’s lighting up your life these days? And if things are feeling just a tad dark and chilly, where and how might you find a way to strike a spark? (more…)
PAUSE – 15.24 – And Now For Something Completely Different
September 2, 2015
Reflection: Last week was busy for me. Maybe it was for you, too.
I worked on the design for upcoming September presentations, met with clients to share info on programs, provided impromptu daycare for my 8 year old grandson, scanned and posted more of my sketches from Europe, and so it went.
There was progress on several fronts, and I loved it all. Still, by the end of the week, my brain was weary and my body was tired from too much time spent in front of the computer.
I found myself casting around for a weekend activity that would meet this criteria: ‘And now for something completely different…’ (Thank you Month Python.)
I found the answer hiding in my garage in the form of an old washstand that I inherited as a treasure from the farm. It was coated with varnish discolored over time. About a year ago I bought supplies to refinish and refurbish.
And that was how I came to spend three hours on Saturday morning laboring away in the garage where the airflow could blow away the fumes. (more…)