Too frequently, whether it be personally or professionally – we fall victim to the ever-spinning hamster wheel. Most of the time we don’t even realize we are on it. Sometimes, we mistake the incessant running for productive action and in many cases, during our attempt to speed up and push ourselves forward – the opposite happens, and we collapse.
We watch our friends and our loved ones do it, we watch ourselves do it – and yet rarely do we ever do anything about it. And why? Because for some unknown reason we believe that if we stop running, it will harm us in some way. Even though RESEARCH tells us otherwise.
Like it or not, the key to progressing forward lies in the ability to know when to pause. This applies to both our personal lives, as well as business.
To demonstrate how this works, I like to refer to what Sarah Young from Sticky Branding calls the “Slingshot Strategy”.
Just like an actual slingshot where you pull back on the band to launch an object forward, the Slingshot Strategy allows you time to reflect on every aspect of your life (or business) to figure out WHY you are doing things the way you are doing them, WHAT you should be doing differently, and HOW you can to the things you do well, better.
It’s ideal for situations when the “stakes are high.” For example:
- You are in the middle of a major life transition
- You are launching a new product or service
- You are struggling to tap into your creativity
- You need to make an important decision
- You want to launch your life or your business forward in a major way
It can feel risky or counterintuitive to pause, especially when you are busy or stressed. Chances are, you're never going to feel like it's the “right” time. But if you want to make significant, positive changes in your business, and in your life - you are going to have to MAKE the time.
Allowing yourself quality time to reassess, realign and reconnect with your purpose and your goals is NEVER going to be a bad idea, nor will it set you back. Stepping off the hamster wheel allows you the opportunity to see the bigger picture, and gives you the insights needed to make better decisions.
Some of the greatest accomplishments in my life have derived from moments when I have allowed myself time to pause. It’s when I’m most creative and strangely, most productive. Eventually I always find myself back on the hamster wheel… it’s inevitable, I suppose. And there’s nothing wrong with a good long run! But just don’t mistake it as the ONLY way to be productive. There is power in the pause.