Productivity Tip: The Tactical Pause

Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 24, 2018

Have you ever been in a situation where you simply felt overwhelmed?  So many things to do…392 emails to act on, seven people knocking on your door, and oh, you forgot to call your mother.  All of which are demanding your time and attention.  And in that moment when the world is swirling around you, paralysis sets in.

Oh yeah.  That happens to me all the time.  Well, not the seven people lined up outside my door, but you get the idea.

And in that moment,  take a deep breath, walk to a quiet spot (a metaphorical “park bench”) and take a few minutes to relax.  Chill.  Shake it off.  Look at the sky.  Notice how beautiful the world is.

After a few minutes of quiet and solitude, pull out a piece of paper and pen.  Write down ALL the things that are pressing down on you.  Work and personal; list it ALL.

Interestingly enough, I often find that the “list” isn’t as humongous as I had imagined!  Now comes the triage: I figure out what I am going to do first, second, third, etc. as well as what I am going to “move forward” in my calendar – best to do on another day.

After this brief moment in time, I get up from my park bench, go back into the office and attack the list in my pre-determined sequence.

Amazing how more productive I am when I just take a brief moment, a “tactical pause” out of the day to get refocused.

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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