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The Value of the PAUSE: Profiting from Down Time

I’m sitting here in my home office staring at the computer screen. I’m doing absolutely nothing. Feeling guilty. I was raised in a high productivity family. If I wasn’t doing something, there were negative consequences. Today, I fight that urge to be a “human doing” and strive to incorporate down time in my schedule, which ultimately improves my productivity and the quality of my work and life. But today, I’m feeling a bit depressed because I’m in the hallway, waiting for the results of very important, foundational, actions I have taken over the past few months. I sit and consider: “Have I done everything I can do to move my projects forward? Is there anything left on the table?” I pause. I listen for words of wisdom from my inner guide.

What actions can I take and when? I run through the main areas of my life: work – all revenue streams, family, spiritual practices, friends, recreation – you get the idea. I quickly write down my thoughts. Later I can organize these ideas. But for now, I just let it roll, scribbling as fast as I can.

Often, I’m told to just breathe. Doing nothing is the antidote for my overly busy schedule and racing mind. I call it my “processing time.” In a world that moves so fast, I wonder why I don’t fly out into the universe! Taking time to get grounded, consider what’s important in my life, moves me out of emotional mind and into spiritual mind. I get all the answers I need. I always schedule processing time into my Google calendar. Overscheduling, for me, leads to missed opportunities, mistakes and disorganization. Yeah. That’s my experience. If I don’t stop, I miss stuff! I forget things. My world gets chaotic.

Fortunately, I have an office at home, which I share with Conway, my Yellow Labrador Retriever. He doesn’t take much of anything seriously. Great lesson for me. So I head downstairs, tail-wagging dog happily in tow. I head to the kitchen, settle into my favorite chair, and gaze out the window at flowers on my porch, where birds and chipmunks are frequent guests. I am grateful to be alive and prospering in this wonderful world we call Planet Earth. I take a moment to PAUSE. I am grateful.

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