Me: Hey Martin, tell me how things are going.
Client: Ok, I guess. I’m frustrated because I didn’t get much done since we spoke last week.
Me: Ok, tell me about that.
Client: We had some issues with x,y,z, and I had to spend time straightening that out.
Me: So, your week was spent in trouble-shooting mode?
Client: Well, not the whole week. I mean I did some presentations for a couple of new prospects. And I interviewed 5 candidates for the new position. Oh, and guess what? I hired someone who’s perfect for the job! I also got those 3 proposals out the door and we actually finished that large job that’s been giving us so many issues.
Me: Oh, is that all?
The interesting part is that, even while reciting a laundry list of accomplishments, the significance of it all doesn’t register in the head of an entrepreneur—not until we focus on The Pause.
So, what do I mean by that and how do you do it?
Think about 3 things you’ve done in the last week. You may tend to move quickly go from one item to the next, glossing over any significance of the achievement. By doing so, a stress-inducing emphasis remains on all that needs to be done. Well, guess what? As a business owner, your weekly to-do list will inevitably be longer than your weekly done list.
A failure to pause and appreciate your weekly accomplishments deprives you of any satisfaction and self-recognition for all that you do as an entrepreneur. You must pause to consider the impact of each and every step you take. Otherwise, you will feel stuck, overwhelmed, and unhappy.
And now, The Pause.
Whether or not you work with an entrepreneur coach, schedule about 30-minutes each week to review what you’ve achieved. Don’t dismiss any action as being too small to mention. Now, go through your list, one thing at a time, pausing between each item. Stop to explore the upside accomplishing this goal and to offer yourself a bit of praise. Sit up straight and smile. Changing your physiology in this way will boost your positivity and sense of well-being.
When you do this, you’ll probably find yourself saying something like, yeah, but (fill in the blank). You might want to diminish the significance of these tasks, focusing instead on all that remains undone or all that you “should have” gotten done. Stop. Take a deep breath and focus on The Pause where you can live in gratitude and appreciation for a few moments. Find the good in all that you’ve done.
When I do this exercise with clients, their entire demeanor changes. The sense of overwhelm takes a backseat to contentment and appreciation. They breathe a little easier, and the clutter in their heads settles down, demanding less of their attention.
Focusing on The Pause will help you to gain clarity and greater levels of productivity. Mostly though, you’ll learn to believe in yourself and feel less stress and more joy. Who doesn’t want that?