The Power of Hitting Pause

My life often feels like I’m living in fast forward. With three young children who I swear are growing up at some sort of warp speed, a demanding full-time job and a husband with a pretty intense career of his own we just seem to race from commitment to commitment. It always feels like it’s going to slow down just around the corner…but then that anticipated lull evaporates like a mirage in the desert. When I do find myself with an unexpectedly free hour I usually hustle to fill it with a bunch of tasks that wouldn’t have gotten done otherwise. Sound familiar?

But what if you viewed that free hour differently? What if you looked at it as a chance to hit the proverbial pause button in your fast-forward life? What would change?

You initially  might  think, “Gasp –  I’d never get caught up!” But taking a moment to recharge your batteries may actually allow you to get MORE accomplished when you step back into action.

I took my own advice this week when I found myself with an unexpected hour in an airport. Normally I’d haul out my laptop and work through the hour, thrilled to be making a dent in my never ending to do list. But this time, I actively sought out the XpresSpa (which, for the record, may be the greatest airport concept EVER invented) and got myself a 20 minute express manicure while reclining in a massaging chair. When I emerged from that chair I was refreshed and rejuvenated…and my nails looked pretty darn good, too! My whole outlook on the unexpected delay had shifted; I was a happier woman.

I don’t think the particular activity mattered. I could have browsed the magazine rack at the bookstore, or ordered a latte, or called a long-distance girlfriend to catch up. Any restful moment would have worked; what mattered was simply that I hit that pause button.

When can you do the same?

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