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  • Tara Rethore

Before Reset, Hit Pause

Like so many of the executives I work with, my days are filled with activity: meetings, calls, problem-solving, creative thinking, and more. These are always on the agenda, typically for both work and family. Yet Monday morning, when I fired up my computer and settled in to work, nothing happened. Technology hadn’t failed. It was me. I just couldn’t get going.


We all have those days.


Usually, I simply grab another cup of coffee, hit reset, and power through. Soon enough, I’m back in the thick of things and making (sometimes glacially slow) progress. Not this time. Neither my head nor my heart was in it. We all have those days.


Choose a different path.


Rather than powering through on Monday, I powered down. Too restless to simply do nothing, I casually sorted through a shipment of stuff that blocked our family room. It was satisfying to see tangible progress. Unlike mindfulness exercises, this activity was more mindless. I allowed my brain to pause. In that pause, I found new energy and ideas.


Intentionally or not, executives set the rhythm and pace of their organizations by their own actions. Thus, as leaders, it’s important to recognize when to reset and when to pause. After the frenetic pace of a critical project, a strategic initiative, or a crisis, it’s helpful to take a breath before launching the next big thing. Sometimes – as in my case – a pause is needed during the project. Rather than spurring your team to push forward, choose a different path.


Perhaps, consider these:

  • What two or three things truly can’t wait until tomorrow?

  • Which one matters most to your success later?

If there is something that truly cannot wait and has a meaningful impact on subsequent success, address it. If possible, delegate and/or ask for help before you take a breath. Otherwise, power down. Embrace the art of doing nothing or do something mindless. Give your brain the time it needs.


Before pushing the reset button, hit pause.