When I was at the peak of my burnt out point, if anyone was to suggest to me I take a break or even stop for a moment I’d get so irritated with them.
“I can’t possibly stop right now. Don’t you understand?!”
So when I’m talking to women now who have really full schedules, are running low on energy and feeling really stuck – at the very hint of suggesting they create space to pause, I sense their bodies tense immediately.
They look at me almost quizzically. And I know what they’re thinking. “Yeea…. BUT…”. They tell me “all that sounds nice, BUT….”.
It can feel like absolute magical thinking when life has been running at such a hectic pace for so long to imagine that it’s possible to stop – and that all the plates will not come crashing down.
It’s foreign to even consider that removing something could still give you the same if not better results.
And yet, it does. And there’s even a tonne of science to back this up.
I work with incredible women, exceptional at their jobs, who are used to performing at a high level. They’re used to always being “on”. And yet they’re also starting to feel the edges fraying. They might be good at it, but it doesn’t mean they want to keep at it.
So of course telling them to stop or pause can feel like I’m telling them to give up all that success too.
That’s the thing with Busy. It tells us that it’s the secret sauce to our success pie. But it’s not.
I think of how I am when making decisions after a long walk, a holiday on the beach, or a calming day.
Versus when I’ve had a full on stressful day, overwhelmed, or even after waiting in a long line for something.
When would you rather be making your decisions?
The space, the pause, or whatever you want to call it, is actually the most critical part of the success formula.
Intentional rest is necessary for repair.
It’s also why we take our cars in for a service. Or have a rest day after working out at the gym. Or why our bodies are literally wired to sleep every day.
Being less busy is not just about your calendar. It’s about your mindset. And how you feel throughout that experience.
Yes. Sometimes that’ll mean saying no to going out on a Friday night. Or telling your boss now is not the right time to start a new project.
But mostly it’ll be about valuing those in between moments. Becoming more aware of what you most need, and remembering to prioritise your “service” (just like the car!) in order to perform better.
When was the last time you created space for pause in your life? And, what could you gain from doing so today?
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