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Four Times to Take Strategic Pauses


You don't have time to take strategic 60-second pauses throughout the day? Think again, here's when you can.

You work a rigorous day, going from patient to patient, case to case, and challenge to challenge. Who says that you have to proceed like a buzz saw all day long? What if you can carve out little bits of time and space for yourself, throughout the day, so that by the end of the day you didn't feel completely frazzled?

A simple and effective way to work a regular day is possible, and to still feel a sense of balance and energy near the close of the day. The key is to take strategic pauses.

What is a strategic pause? It's stopping for as little as 10 to 15 seconds, and maybe as much is 60 seconds, to take a breath, become reflective, center yourself, perhaps stretch, have a sip of water, regroup, and then tackle the task at hand.

Here are some tips for taking strategic pauses throughout the day:

1) Prior to stepping into the examination room where the next patient is waiting, pause for a few seconds. Don't turn the doorknob. Think about why you got into the profession. Consider the importance of exhibiting to the patient your professional best. Take a deep breath. Now open the door, and with a knowing look and warm smile, greet the patient.

2) After seeing one patient, do the same with the next one. Take 10 to 30 seconds, or as much is 60 seconds if you need to, before moving on to what's next - another patient or another task. Even if the day has been ultra-hectic, you'll find that pausing for a few seconds will not diminish your productivity. Moreover pausing will not cause others to think that you are shirking your responsibilities. Strategically pausing will enable you to have higher energy throughout the day.

3) Strategic pauses at various times throughout the day can help in many encounters. Prior to stepping out of the office - going to lunch; coming back from lunch; meeting with colleagues, vendors, or whomever - take a strategic pause. Thereafter, the people with whom you meet might well be impressed by your ability to maintain equanimity.

4) Pause strategically before leaving the office for the day, making your way to your car, starting your car, and arriving home. Such pauses help you to be more present with your family and more appreciative of what you have in this life.

Too often, we confront so much to do, and so little time to do it that taking strategic pauses doesn't seem practical. Yet, the opposite is true: the more hectic our days, the more important it is to take strategic pauses throughout them.

Your career will last longer and strategic pauses will help you to arrive in style.

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