Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

PAUSE – 14.21 – What Do You Want To Do As You Grow Old?

Spring On The Trail

Spring On The Trail

Reflection: We’re pretty quick to ask young people about their futures: “What do you want to be when you grow up? What will you do after graduation?”

However, once we step through that portal of adulthood and into a career, a family, and responsibilities of all shapes and sizes, those ‘imagine your future’ questions are often sidelined.

You make a choice. You set out on a path. You’re headed in the right direction. All is well. Or is it?

I recently delivered the closing keynote for a conference of career planners and employment counselors. My message focused on connecting them to the hidden value in what they do and how they are.

The conference planners asked me to also build in a message for those in their mid to late career years who might be faced with: waning interest, lagging energy, or a once raging fire in the belly now faded to glowing embers. And, so I did. Here are a few of the ideas I shared that I thought might also interest you. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.19 – Five Ways to Perk Up Your Life

Sunny Smile With The Blues-wReflection: Back in January, a local TV station asked me to share a few ideas to help people cope with Blue Monday. That’s the Monday of the last full week in January – what is referred to by many as the most depressing day of the year.

While the Blue Monday pedigree is questionable, everyone has blue days and they don’t limit themselves to the month of January!

There’s no need to hold in reserve the strategies you can use to perk up your life when you’re feeling low.

 

Action: Here are five actions to perk up your life any time you need a boost: Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Video, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.18 – What Do You Think Matters Most?

wise owl-wReflection: Places to be. Things to fix. Stuff to do. The lists grow long and the burdens grow heavy.

That’s why, every so often, it helps to pause and step back from the fray – to tap into a fresh perspective on the countless should’s and pressing have-to’s of our lives.

In my presentations on balance and renewal, I often challenge participants with an exercise that invites them to generate their own life wisdom and insights. I invite you to take ten minutes and give it a try yourself. Here’s how the exercise goes.

 

Action: On a blank sheet of paper, write the date and year of your 80th birthday. (Hopefully you won’t need a calculator to figure it out!)

Next, bring to mind a ten-year-old boy or girl sitting at your knee looking up at you with admiration. Give that child a name – real or fictional. Imagine the youngster saying, “You’ve lived a VERY long time. What can you tell me about what really matters in life?”

Your task is to put pen to paper starting with the words:

Dear (insert his/her name), You’ve asked me to tell you what really matters in life. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Give yourself ten minutes to jot down every idea that pops into your mind. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.17 – Tune In Not Out

Focus road sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.Reflection: Have you ever chatted with a companion whose eyes continually dart over your shoulder scanning the scene behind you?

You may have no idea what you are missing in the space behind you; but you know exactly what you’re missing in front of you. What’s absent is your companion’s full attention. It’s unnerving and disengaging.

Tracking background movement is not life’s only distraction. Mental preoccupation dilutes attention. So do computer screens, smart phones, televisions, and more.

Rapport suffers when one or both parties to a conversation are more absent than present. And a lack of attention from someone who is central to your life (boss, key colleague, mate or partner) can be especially problematic.

Participants in some of the sessions I facilitate tell me how powerful it can be when they set their multitasking habits aside and turn their full focus to the individual and issue at hand. Amazing things happen. Other people settle down, open up, and share what’s on their minds. People blossom under the warmth of their attention. Relationships flourish.

 

Action: Here’s what you can do to create a more conducive environment for some of the important conversations in your life. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

This post was written by Pat Katz on April 30, 2014

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PAUSE – 14.15 – Are You Dazed? Try A Doze!

napping-wReflection: When a busy toddler grows weary, he or she simply lies down and falls sleep. Doesn’t matter where. Doesn’t matter when.

When an elderly person grows weary, he or she simply nods off in the middle of a visit or the middle of a sentence. Doesn’t matter where. Doesn’t matter when.

As for the rest of us somewhere between toddlering and doddering, when we grow weary, we shake the cobwebs from our heads, grab another cuppa java, and will ourselves to wakefulness.

We power on. We don’t power down. Pressing …pressing …and rarely pausing. Because, after all there are important places to go, people to see, and things to do.

Sadly, this ends up working against us instead of for us. While we may be nominally awake and at work – it is with diminishing capacity and diminishing returns! That’s why, in a wearied state, so many things feel tougher and take longer. We’re neither fresh nor focused.

Now I’m not suggesting nodding off in a middle of a business meeting would be a good thing. However, I am suggesting that ignoring the body when it calls for rest can be a bad thing.

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. Although you and I may not be flying jets or spacecraft, how much more effective might we be if our performance and alertness improved that much because we took a rest when we needed one?

 

Action: What to do? Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

PAUSE – 14.14 – Are You Using The Three S’s of Appreciation?

Three S-wReflection: I so appreciate the fact that spring on the prairies is finally putting in an appearance. It seems that the month of April offers no shortage of opportunities to appreciate a variety of things and people.

This very week in Canada (April 6-12) is National Volunteer Appreciation week. A quick glance at an online calendar of special days reveals that’s not the only special day on this month’s agenda.

April also brings you National Siblings Day (10th), National Librarian Day (16th), Volunteer Recognition Day (20th), and Administrative Professional Day (23rd). You’ll find a host of whacky days on the calendar, too. Feel free to celebrate jelly beans, scrabble, and rubber erasers to name just a few!

In today’s everyday busyness, it’s easy to think that celebration and recognition are not that important – that appreciation is just icing on the cake. However, that’s just not true.

Many employee surveys show that a lack of recognition, appreciation and acknowledgement are a major workplace issue and a significant source of disengagement. It’s such a shame, because it’s such an easy challenge to address.

 

Action: What to do? Focus on small daily appreciative actions like these. Read More…

Posted under Appreciation, Life Balance, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.13 – Had Any Epiphanies Lately?

New Directions-wReflection: Epiphany:  A moment when you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.

Ariana Huffington had an epiphany. She fell asleep at work, hit her head on the edge of her desk, sliced open her cheek, and came to in a pool of blood. One hospital trip and several stitches later, she set about changing her habits and adopting a saner, healthier way of being in this world.

Some years ago, I had an epiphany of my own. As a young Mom, I left the house on a deep freeze of a winter morning. Burdened by tote bag, gym bag, child’s backpack, briefcase, and clamping a wriggling snow-suited toddler in my arms, I tried in vain to lock a reluctant front door.

In the end, the entire load, including screaming daughter and me dropped to the step. Freezing tears streamed down our faces. In that moment of overwhelm, I knew there had to be a better way, and set about discovering what that might be.

Fictional news anchor Howard Beale had an epiphany. In the movie Network, he punctuates his on-air rant about the state of the world by declaring, “I‘m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

Maybe you’ve had an epiphany or two of your own. Or maybe you’re working up to one at this very moment.

Epiphanies are rarely unheralded. If we pay close attention as life unfolds, we might notice the small occurrences that signal a need for change. But, heh, we’re busy, we’re preoccupied, and we’re on a roll! We get in a groove and it morphs into a rut that’s not apparent till it trips us up and down we go.

 

Action: The challenge is to tune into our ‘epiphanettes’ – those small wake up calls that surface day to day. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

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

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.

 

Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Overload & Overwhelm, Technology, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.12 – Where Is Everybody? Where Are You?

Stack of smart phones

Stack of smart phones

Reflection: I’m worried about us. Not in a global warming, political upheaval, where is the world headed kind of way. But rather in a very specific ‘why don’t we choose to be more present’ sort of way.

While facilitating recent seminars, I’ve noted – and not for the first time – that as soon as there is a pause in the program the majority of people seem compelled to plug their phones into the gap.

Like the fictional Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike, today’s smartphones serve as the first line of defense against potential threats like these: a moment of down time, the possibility of original thought, and the risk of actually connecting with a live person positioned within arm’s reach.

While answering email, returning texts, scanning Facebook, and checking news feeds may give the illusion of connectedness, I propose that the opposite may also be true.

Instead of enhancing connection, this habitual behavior insulates us from the moment at hand, distances us from creative thought, and diminishes the likelihood of meaningful live conversation.

Our ‘reach for the phone’ knee-jerk habits actually keep us reacting and retorting and stop us from reflecting and relating.

 

Action: Here’s a challenge for today  - and for tomorrow, too. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

PAUSE – 14.11 – Put A Little Spring In Your Step

Stairway Through Paradise-72Reflection: I’m an inveterate reader – always on the lookout for new ideas or unique expressions of old ideas stated in fresh engaging ways.

Today I flipped through my collection of recent blog posts and articles by other writers who focus on the importance of stepping back and taking time out.

I’ve picked three articles to share with you. You’ll find them in the Resources Of The Week section of this posting.

Think of it as my ‘Welcome to Spring and Fresh Ways of Doing Things’ gift.

 

Action: The articles are all great. But here’s my anti-overwhelm suggestion. Read More…

Posted under Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines