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Try Integrating Moments of Pause into Your Day.

Sometimes, random moments in life get you thinking about wider issues. And this happened to me just the other day whilst I was grinding my coffee.

This is not something I normally do – grind my coffee I mean. I receive coffee on subscription and, whilst it usually comes ground, recently it has changed to whole bean (trust me it is better that way). Consequently, I have started spending five minutes each morning grinding the coffee beans by hand before I can make my (much savoured) single daily coffee.

Whilst I was doing this the other morning, it struck me how impatient we all are about seeing quick results. Myself included. I had initially wanted to just run out and by an electric grinder to blitz it all in seconds.

But I realised that maybe I was actually enjoying it. That I had started to appreciate these moments of pause that I had each morning. That this process of taking my time, not being in any particular rush, was actually really important for the rest of my day. My mind took its time to think about what I needed to do – and I went into my day with clarity and calm.

These moments were still plagued by an itch for a coffee, but I came to quite like them. Having these slower processes made me think that a rush isn’t the best way to start or continue a day.

And you don’t need to run about between different things either. It’s important to stop sometimes – and to deliberately integrate slower processes into your day. Some moments of pause.

The Morning Rush.

Morning routines are some of the most important, as they influence the direction that the rest of your day will take. If you start the day stressed – eating a slice of toast on the commute or running out of the door half-dressed – then you know the rest of your day will continue at that same pace.

HOW Solution: Integrating moments of pause in your morning puts you in a mode that is much more relaxed. Less frantic, less frenetic, less rushed. You could try meditating in the morning to slow yourself down. I like to read ten pages of a book over my coffee, to start the day inspired.

Moments of Pause at Lunchtime.

We know that a rushed lunch affects our afternoon productivity adversely. Meanwhile, eating al desko doesn’t give your brain the break it needs. In fact, if you have a lot to do, the best way to do it is to put it off for half an hour whilst you give yourself a moment off – and let your brain work on the problem.

HOW Solution: Make a habit of a change of scene over lunch. Get out, enjoy your lunch, and ensure yourself a moment of pause before you head back in to work. Just think about something else.

Take the Rest You Need in the Evening.

The same applies in the evening too. If you are up all night sending emails, you’re tiring yourself out – and the next day’s performance is going to suffer. No matter how convinced you are that you don’t need to rest or sleep, you actually really do (yes, even you!).

HOW Solution: Rather than working through the evening, or coming home late to eat a microwave meal, ensure you take the moment to pause. Making a slower meal, I find, is a good way to do this – just as sitting down at a table to eat. Otherwise, use your commute to write your journal and reflect on the day gone by.

Happy Christmas!

You may well agree that Christmas can be just as busy as any other time in your life – if not busier. However, it is a great time to reflect on the year that has passed and that year that is about to come. So, use this time! Don’t just bounce about between drinks with friends and family occasions. We all need our moments of pause from that too.

Merry Christmas!

Your Tasks this Week.

  • Start you day slowly. If that means waking up a little earlier, take the time in your morning routine to pause and think about the day ahead.
  • Take a walk at lunch and re-energise your mind.
  • Integrate a moment of pause in your evening too

Here are some articles that might be helpful for you this week!

The Forgotten Benefits of Taking a Break

You Can’t Work 24/7: The Problem with Our Always On Culture.