Purposeful Pauses

artwork by Catherine Cachia

artwork by Catherine Cachia

All of us have todo lists, competing priorities, and more on our plates than we can generally manage in a day. We get pulled in different directions, by the demands and requests of others, and what we hope to accomplish versus what we actually accomplish everyday.

As a professional coach, I work with an array executives and business owners who accomplish big things and have inspiring visions. I enjoy partnering with them to support the realization of these dreams and visions.

An issue for many people, the barrier that people come up against is distraction and prioritization. If you read my previous article Solopreneur Solitude, you know that my challenges were the typical distractions of a home office. I’d find myself picking up my phone to call someone, only to realize I couldn’t remember who I intended to call, or I’d be doing research and end up deep deep in the web chasing link after link, and surfacing to realize I’d spent much longer than I intended, all while listening for the laundry.

What has worked for me and my clients is taking intentional pauses through the day. This may seem counterintuitive, to stop working to think about working, but it works. The concept comes from work efficiency experts who have found that working for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break, creates more employee efficiency. You or your employees might benefit from apps like https://tomato-timer.com/ based on the Pomodoro method.

The concept of purposeful pauses is the added layer of intention for those small breaks. Take a few minutes a couple times of day to recalibrate. What were your goals for today, what’s most important for you today, is what you are currently working on serving you best, or should you shift your focus for the next chunk of time. The very act of pausing and reflecting with intention on your goals and bigger vision, helps you stay focussed and motivated. I have one client who sets 3 reminders for himself throughout the day. When the reminder dings on his phone, he puts aside what he’s working on, takes a few deep breathes and thinks about what he wants to accomplish, and what work needs to be done.

The simple act of pausing with intention to focus your thinking and remind yourself of your goals, creates space to recalibrate and move forward.

My goal in sharing this with you is to offer a simple yet powerful tool, to support your move to where you want to be professionally and personally.

The artwork I used above is from hand letterer Catherine Cachia, a client who has incorporated purposeful pauses into her work day.