Get up at 5 a.m., take a shower, find something to wear, cook breakfast, wake the kids up, prepare their lunch, see them out the door, find your car keys, get to work…and that’s just the first 4 hours of the day. What are you going to be doing for the remaining 20 hours? Thank goodness breathing comes naturally, because if we had to think about it, we probably wouldn’t have the time to devote to yet another task. Perhaps you have heard the now famous cliché, I ain’t got time fo’ that!’ by Sweet Brown who was victim to a fire in her apartment complex?
The key is that we make time for things we want to make time for. I’ll bet during the workday you had time to surf the Internet, pay a bill online, or maybe even check your Facebook account to see what is today’s hot topic? Even though you had a project due at the end of the day. Well, I ‘m asking you to make time for one more thing – a pause. It’s important, and I can’t stress enough (unless you like stress), to take a breather, break, timeout, or just pause – call it a Self-Induced Intermission (SII pronounced 'Sigh'). You are voluntarily stopping and letting your mind catch up. This is the point of refocus.
· When giving a presentation, silence yourself momentarily to gather your thoughts and, at the same time, allow the audience to absorb your words.
· When someone else is speaking. Let them talk and when they take a moment of silence, feel free to walk into the conversation.
· Upon completing a task, give yourself a reward and take a brief break. This is the best kind of pause because you have time to clear your mind focus on the next to-do item.
· Before telling your co-workers how you really feel (if it’s negative, of course!), take a breath and hold it for 5 seconds - just enough time to slow the “emotional train” down. This pause will keep you from behaving unprofessionally.
· After writing, editing, and re-editing correspondence. If you take your eyes off the document for a few minutes and come back to it, you may find an error that was overlooked before or the document may need to be revised again. Don’t forget to print the document to review after you come back from your brief “eye break.”
So, take pause for a good cause - YOU! At the end of this sentence, take a pause and absorb what you just read. It will be worth it.