Pause Blog On Overload, Overwhelm & Life In General

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 – 14.17 – 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 – 14.16 – What Difference Will You Make Today?

Granville Island-72Reflection: While taking my morning walk along the riverbank trail, I came across a couple of staff from the Meewasin Valley Authority. They were working their way along the trail, emptying the garbage cans scattered throughout the park.

It’s a workplace setting that has a lot to offer especially on a warm spring day. You can’t beat the great outdoors with a river view.

Still, emptying trashcans can’t be the most pleasant job in the world. They’re jammed with sticky cans and bottles and the remnants of fast food lunches in the park. To top it off, they’re overflowing with stinky, leaky plastic bags of doggy do.

On my way past, I gave the fellas a wave of my hand. And then I thought, “I could do better than that!”

So I stopped in my tracks, turned around and said, “Hey, guys, thanks for all the work you do cleaning things up out here. It makes a big difference for all of us, and I really appreciate it!”

And they, in turn, stopped what they were doing, looked up, and rewarded me with two of the biggest grins I’ve seen in some time.

I smiled right back and carried on.

 

Action: And in that small exchange, I was reminded that it doesn’t take much to lift another’s spirits or make someone’s day. Read More…

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

Spring Special

Take A Bow CoverCropLooking for a tangible way to encourage and express your appreciation for others in your world?

The Take A Bow booklet (67 Ways To Pause For Applause, Celebrate Your Success, & Keep Your Spirits High) makes a great gift.

It has a much longer shelf life than flowers, and, unlike chocolate, it won’t add unwelcome pounds on the hips!

You’ve always been able to purchase individual copies and bundles of 30 or 100 at reduced prices.

For the month of April, you can take advantage of a Take A Bow Spring Special and pick up  bundles of 10 for 39.50.

Just click here to place your TAB Spring Special order.

PS – They make great gifts for Administrative Professional Day.

Posted under Appreciation

This post was written by Pat Katz on April 10, 2014

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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 – 14.09 – Umbrage – Take It Or Leave It!

72dpi-scowling manReflection: Why this? Why me? Why now?

Do you ever find yourself reacting this way when things go sideways in your world?

It’s no surprise that stuff happens. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Cars don’t start. People don’t finish. The weather blows. You find yourself out of patience, out of milk, or out of time!

Although the universe may be unfolding as it should (or so the Desiderata would have us believe), it’s not always unfolding as we think it should or as we hoped it would.

And so we’re left to deal with our reactions to what can feel like a stealth attack on our expectations.

 

Action: What to do?

Read More…

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

This post was written by Pat Katz on March 5, 2014

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PAUSE – 14.08 – In Praise of Puttering

Hands Free!

Hands Free!

Reflection: When preparing to deliver a conference presentation or seminar for a group, I’ll often interview a sampling of attendees ahead of time to find out more about their workplace stresses and satisfactions.

In a recent series of interviews for an upcoming conference, I asked about successful strategies for coping with high demand, stressful times. I heard a predictable assortment of suggestions: adopting time savers, planning ahead, taking time out, celebrating successes and having some fun.

However, one unusual response stood out. This particular fellow described his stress reduction strategy as ‘puttering’. He explained that when life and work grow demanding, he narrows his attention and focuses only on the high priority items.

But, after several weeks of that high level focus, he finds he has sidelined a whole pile of lesser tasks. These smaller, less important bits and pieces build up to create a pressure all their own.

At that point, he devotes a day to puttering. No major projects and no big decisions are allowed. Instead, he putters around clearing away the small stuff.

He calls A, repairs B, stores C, answers D, files E, replaces F, cleans up G, and so it goes.

As he moves from one small task to another with ease and a meandering spirit, he fuels a sense of accomplishment and feels a sense of relief. Read More…

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

PAUSE – 14.07 – Step Back To Step Ahead

Beach Walking-wReflection: If you happened to view any of the three short videos I shared while the regular Pause ezine was on hiatus, you would have caught one or more messages about the value of stepping back to step ahead. Just in case you missed it or them, today I’m sharing a ‘summing up’ and a link to the complete article.

I have come to understand that nonstop action is a dead end strategy for success. When we nix time-outs, we just hit the wall – not the mark. Sometimes we really do have to step back to step ahead. Making the most of our days involves building strategic pauses into everyday experiences.

When we step back, stand down and chill out, we tap more readily into renewal, appreciation and perspective.

 

Action: Here are nine (3 x 3) pause practices that will help you generate more energy, enthusiasm and insight. Read More…

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