Pause is the new hustle
Burnout is real and it affects your creativity, motivation, and mindset. If you’re in hustle mode, you might be making things more stressful for yourself because your mind is constantly in a state of overwhelm. Hustle mode doesn’t give you much time for self-reflection or the opportunity to learn and implement new things. It is time to embrace the power of the pause!
For me, one of the biggest insult I can receive is to be called lazy. Which I know to be ridiculous- there are definitely worse things to be called and I am pretty sure I don’t even know how to be lazy for more than a couple of hours. I certainly would struggle to be lazy for any extended amount of time. Yet, it is a strong feeling that feeds into my psyche and can instruct certain decision making. The hustle hold is real.
It has taken me about 3 years to fully integrate a 4 day working week. I take one day ‘off’ to think, read and reflect. I have done it for almost 2 years now and those days off have consistently been my best day for ideas and nourished the other 4 days of work. I gain so much clarity on these days and am always, always better for them. I know this, I have experienced the proof many times over, yet when I am not feeling my best my instinct is to push, not pause.
Why is that? I think part of that is to do with the way we see other people’s successes. We see finished, shiny versions in an image or a reel. We don’t see the whole picture. It is less a story and more of a snapshot. We compare our current state with someone’s best and often, superficial state. We used to hear inspirational stories, whole versions of a journey, with all of the ups and downs. Now we just see a filtered end, a version of the truth. It’s obviously not a bad thing to be inspired by other people working hard. But you also need to be smart about your strategy. It’s important to do things with intention, which takes time as you have to check in with yourself and see how you feel, what you really want. Not just react into action because you think something should be on your to-do list.
The payoff is in the practice
We can know something and do it for a bit and then somehow be back at the beginning because we let things slip. We like to learn something new and then move on like it’s ‘done’ but it is the diligence of the practice that brings the reward. Part of our Keystone Women programme is allowing participants to create a practice. Scheduling in time to do other things (that are also important in life) than work actually make your working life better. Finding meaningful rituals that check in with all of yourself helps avoid running a race for someone else. And it is an ongoing practice. It might look different but having a practice is key.
Four Thousand Weeks author, Oliver Burkeman, describes this race well;
The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.
Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.
Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.
At Keystone, we hear over and over again how stretched people are, how they are full up and one more thing to do or manage is going to tip them over the edge. We get it and we understand that feeling but it is often less about how much and more about the HOW. By taking the time to pause, you are actually giving yourself more time to be clear about what you want to do and be sure that you are the one driving any action. The power of the pause is real and the payoff is in the practice, we promise.
As everybody else is rushing around like a lunatic out there, I dare you to do the opposite.
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