Making time to pause: aiming for fulfilled, not depleted

In each moment, in each day, we have an opportunity to pause and consider what we want our businesses (lives) to be like.

To me, this feels obvious, necessary, and ongoing. I spend a lot of my time talking with people about what they want their businesses to be like. I spend a lot of time facilitating the pause, and the answers.

But I also know that it’s something that gets squished down to the bottom of the list on a daily basis. I know that it can be incredibly hard to put time aside for this, and to give yourself permission for it.

So, even though it feels (to me) like I say this a lot: take time to pause.

You’ll feel better for it. You’ll gain clarity. And the more you do it, and follow through on whatever you need or want to bring in, the more clarity, happiness, and ease you’ll feel.

You can do it on a micro level, a daily, momentary, what-do-I-need-this-afternoon level.

In fact, you can do that right now. Sit in your seat, take a deep breath. Feel the pause. Feel the potential — you can change your day around from this point forward! What is missing from your business, your life, your surroundings, right now? Perhaps it’s inspiration, enthusiasm, or creativity. If that feels really strong to you — that desire to feel inspired and creative — maybe you could give yourself an hour to read something inspiring, or go to an art gallery. Mix up your usual routine.

As you sit, you might feel like you’re in need of productivity — perhaps you’ve been piddling around all day or all week. What about giving yourself one thing to finish today? Or setting a timer for 20 minutes to work on one task (and one task only)?

On a bigger level, a deeper level, you could take half an hour to wonder about what you want your business to be like. Not just problem-solving the stuff that’s going on right now, but thinking about a year or two from now. What do you want your business to be like then? Let yourself see it, feel it. Be really honest with yourself about what would work for you. (Avoid comparison.)

Then imagine or two things to add into your day or week that might nudge you in that direction. It might be research, or tidying up, or designing something you love (instead of what you “should” be making). Whatever feels like a tangible thing — nothing huge, we don’t want to overwhelm or overturn — build it into your schedule.

Because here’s the thing:

You’re in charge, and your business is here to serve you, to add to your life, not just take away all the time. You need to check in with it, and with yourself, to make sure it feels right, and is giving you what you need.

Aim for fulfilled, not depleted.

Try taking some time off for reflection.

Consider working with a coach or mentor for clarity and encouragement.

But most of all, be true to you.