We are all busy. Way too busy to connect with each other, let alone with our thoughts. I have a wife and two kids four and under with one more due in February. I’m an Elder at our church and own two pizza restraunts with about twenty employees. Now I have also started running marathons. Life gets pretty crazy. The last thing I feel like doing is stopping. “Keep up,” I think. From sunrise to sunset move and go. But inaction is actually the correct path sometimes. In John Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth, he states, “Learning to pause allows growth to catch up to you”. He calls this the “Law of Reflection.” In sports it’s called a “time out.” Stop and think, “Am I traveling down the correct path or do I need to turn around?” So press pause on life and do these 5 things to make you more productive.
1. Breath: Breath out down through your belly. Under stress we take short shallow breaths. Breath full and slow. It will return more oxygen to your brain and you will feel your whole body relax. When your body begins to relax you will be amazed at where you are holding the tension. I clinch my jaw if I’m not paying attention. When you breath big slow breaths it will allow you to think more clearly and things that were hidden will now be evident.
2. Pray: This will be in almost every step. Not stopping and asking God is silly and prideful. I don’t sometimes and regret it often. Stop and ask for direction.
3. Write it down: Write down what needs to get done. Rank these items from 1 through etc. Start with 1 and work down. Do what is important and urgent first. Those things that are not important mark off the list.
4. Delegate: Take time to think of who can do some of these things. Delegating items to your team will free you up to focus on the important things. This may take longer in the moment, but will pay dividends in the future. This is the area that I have the biggest opportunity for growth.
5. Ask why: What are you doing and why? If you can’t give a good answer, you are doing the wrong thing. Because it needs to get done is not a good answer to the question. Stop and go the other dirction if you don’t know why.
These 5 things will lead you to a more efficient productive life. Try to pause and think for 10 minutes. It could cause your whole life to change. Let’s think for once!
What things do you do to pause and think?