Remember “It’s the Pause that Refreshes”? Why Should You Care?

You might be too young to remember Coca-Cola’s 1929 campaign, “It’s the pause that refreshes.” However, it does still have relevance for getting a fresh start–in your job/career or personal life.

Why does it matter? Possibly for several reasons, but I’d like to begin by sharing my own experience, which might resonate with you.

Pause Your Professional Career Treadmill

Whether you’re a business owner or an executive , you can find yourself on a relentless professional treadmill without realizing it. Unless something prompts you, that condition could continue too long.need a break

In my case, it was an external situation that caused me to “pause and refresh.” I have a son with health issues, and suddenly our dog developed something that caused me to lose significant sleep. I was the “sandwich filling” in a solo-caregiver scenario!

Furthermore, I was trying to maintain a full business schedule. That included working on client projects, discussing possible projects with prospective clients, engaging in writing articles and other marketing-related activities. It’s exhausting even to think about!

What caused me to put the brakes on? I realized this was one of those times I could NOT do it all and shouldn’t be trying to.

How to Create Your “Pause that Refreshes”

What you choose to do about your own overwhelm situation might be very different from anyone else’s.

However, as we head toward the year-end holiday season, you might want to take a deep breath and consider possibilities.

relaxing sceneIn case it’s helpful, here’s a short list of what I chose to do for my fresh start:

  1. Carve out some time to think. This doesn’t have to be hours–just whatever is enough to allow you to concentrate and clarify.
  2. Prioritize the demands on your time and energy. Maybe you don’t need to do absolutely everything. What items on your list are “must do,” and which are optional for now?
  3. Pull back from activities that take up a big amount of time but offer small return on your “investment.” I regretfully withdrew from doing resume reviews and writing projects for BlueSteps (affiliated with the Association of Executive Search Consultants). I had enjoyed the six-year experience, but it was providing a diminishing return now.
  4. Reach out to family and friends for support and encouragement. Their reinforcement can make a huge difference in your ability to cope effectively.
  5. Allow yourself to breathe deeply, then regroup and restart. It’s sort of like doing a “warm boot” on your computer. You can choose to do a gradual restart, rather than adding a lot of things at once.

What’s Next in Your Fresh Start? Build in Some Refreshing Pauses

I’m starting to think about how I can make pauses an integral part of my business and my personal life. You might want to do something similar for your unique situation.fresh start

One idea that came quickly to mind: Think more carefully about new activities I take on. I recently agreed to serve a one-year term on the board of the Women’s Business Network (WBN) in Harvard, Massachusetts (NOT the university!). I’m already on the board of my church (nearing the end of year one in a three-year term). Would I take on another board membership if asked? No.

On the other hand, what if someone asked me to speak about resume writing or LinkedIn profiles for a job search support group? If I could fit it into my schedule without going crazy, probably yes. I’ve done speaking engagements before and enjoy them–and I know what’s involved.

Remember, your job and career success depends not only on how much you can cram into your days–and nights–but how wisely you invest your time and energy. Build in refreshing, fresh start pauses intentionally.

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