My last blog on hitting the pause button in my life hit a chord! I got a flood of responses from you, and enjoyed reading every one. Thank you for sharing your reactions with me.
The piece reflected on this last year, one in which I dialed back on work to focus on not urgent, important parts of my life.
If you would like to read the post, click here.
If you've worked with me, you know I am a big fan of feedback loops. I help build strong work culture in part by getting new constellations of people talking and sharing ideas.
Let me walk my talk and share excerpts from your emails to me. All are from people who are (or decided to take a break from being) top executives.
"Like you, I just took a long hiatus. My rhythm is to work five years and then take a year off. It has been a wonderful year with many of the same benefits you described. I spent a large amount of the time in the Amazon rainforest working with Indigenous tribes, camped coast to coast across the U.S., explored China and Tibet, moved 3x ending up living next to my family members for the first time since I was a child. The biggest lesson was learning to not have a plan, to let the next step unfold organically."
-- Sarah C, North Carolina
"I resonated with the significance and importance of occasionally taking a big time-out. . . After five years serving as the CEO of a complex business unit, it was time to make big changes. . . I went cold turkey from the hectic life of a well-traveled executive to the solitary life of a writer. I was driven by an inner need to find out why we were so successful during my tenure as leader of the business unit. By the end of the year I had finished the manuscript for my first book, Leadership in a Wiki World."
-- Rod C., Texas
"Our family went through a similar transformation-got rid of a ton of stuff, embraced minimalism, huge health kick a few years back and never looked back."
-- Sig V., New York
"I am trying to keep a rope tied to slowing down enough to feel and to spot beauty in what has become mundane and gratitude for the awesome nature of the people and world around me."
-- Paula B., Virginia
"I read every word, mesmerized."
-- Kristen S., D.C.
"This is great! Your blog! We are integrating mindfulness into our work and trying to do the same at home."
-- Linda S., Virginia
Your excitement about this post reminded me of an article by Arianna Huffington. When people type "Why am I. . . " into Google, the auto complete function, which is based on the most popular searches in your area, most commonly suggests, "so tired". Google thinks it is most likely that you are going to write "Why am I so tired".
What a statement about our culture! We are yearning for the pause button.
What might that mean for your organization? Have you thought about how to help people become highly productive and make every minute count?
If you can cut out the wasted moments at work, you free up time for high leverage activities--including balance in life.