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Giving pause

May 2nd, 2004 · No Comments

This week Jeffy at Mad Times posted his review of Getting Things Done by David Allen. I appreciate how Jeffy described the book’s methodology. I confess I’ve gone a bit off the bandwagon from where I once was with getting things done. Part of that is because our life is a bit slow and simple at the moment. I got through a long list of things that had been burning for a while, and now there’s not much left. Also I think David Allen hit on a crucial question in his blog this week…

…when he asked What are your “pause buttons”? and gave his answers

A hot bath, pruning my trees, a nice dinner with my lady and friends, a good massage, a good movie, playing GO on my computer, to mention a few.

Paul Ziakin commented on my power outage post:

We listened to our our two sons playing mandolin and guitar by candle light. What an evening!
It makes me think that perhaps we do not perpetual daylight. Perhaps we need those hours of twilight to slow down, focus, gather our thoughts before the coming darkness.

When we lost power, I had a list of what I had wanted to accomplish, on the eve before in-law arrival, yet sitting there in the darkness I had similiar thoughts as Paul, realizing that perhaps what I really needed to do was rest. The 24-hour-electric-Internet-wireless-instant world doesn’t provide much time for pause. It’s not something that’s given. It must be taken.

What do I do to refresh and reflect? As the previous post revealed, gardening and blogging help me unwind – that is, if I let them. But I can read and write on weblogs and end up feeling irked rather than relaxed. And going out in the garden can cause me to covet and complain if I’m not enjoying what I have. I think I need some time each day to relax by myself in quiet, even for a moment, but playing with the girls, throwing a ball, or doing art projects with them like creating with paper, can also help me relax.

I need to take more time to press “pause”. Making intentional moments before bed to do “nothing”, and trying to take one day for rest can refresh me. I find if I can take a break on Sundays from whatever can be optional (such as laundry), then I’m ready to dive into Monday with all it’s “to-do” files. Sometimes I can get so caught up in getting things done that I don’t have time to rest. Then I end up going to bed feeling frustrated and wound too tight. If I take time to “pause”, time for a bath, flipping through pages of a fun book, or even simply sitting still on the porch in the morning, then I can be more motivated to “play” (work!) the rest of the time.

Any other ideas on how to “pause”?

Tags: books