We are wrestlers. We tend to put our heads down and want to simply outwork everyone. When the whistle blows in a wrestling match there’s no time to stop or to think only to go– to stay relentlessly focused on your opponent. However arguably the most important part of a match is the few seconds between periods or after going out of bounds when a wrestler gets to look over at his coach. During this pause the wrestler gains perspective.
It is from this perspective that adjustments can be made that will can change the outcome of a match. They can brake a cycle of unsuccessful attempts of scoring or at defending an attack.
You pause. You make adjustments. And your chances of success increase.
Zoom out and look at it from the perspective of an entire season. Wrestlers train hard. We put our heads down and don’t stop pushing until we get where we want to be.
However, the most important part of the season are the times when you pause.
You pause in the preseason to set your goals.
You pause during the season to sit down with your coach and evaluate what is working and what’s not. You make course corrections, adjust your training, diet or other facets of your routine and then push on.
Without these adjustments… Without the pause… you are digging your hole in the wrong spot.
As wrestlers we go off into the world with this same mentality. We work and we work and we work but rarely do we pause. Rarely do we pause to set our goals– pause to reevaluate our goals. Pause to see if we are still connected to our wives the way we once were. Pause to look at our health and diet and fitness.
Here are a few ways that you can pause in your life that will not only be a smart use of your time but will create a drive and motivation to achieve at entirely new levels.
1. On your drive to work turn off the radio for five minutes and plan your day. Identify the one or two key tasks that, if you complete them today, you will feel good about at the end of your day. I do this and also use this time to identify what I’m grateful for (a great morning with my kids, a great job, a wonderful wife).
2. At 4:30 PM every day and alarm goes off on my phone that reminds me to identify the three things I want to accomplish tomorrow. While I’m nearing the end of my workday I acutely know what it is that I need to do next. Far too often we show up at work the next day and the first thing we do is check email which leads to getting sucked into busy work instead of important work. This small pause allows me to get more done than most people.
3. Once a month I pause for 10 minutes to evaluate my goals. It doesn’t take long but it is a chance to remind me what my goals are and more importantly why I have set these goals.I make any necessary adjustments like moving deadlines or changing action items. I outlined my system for goal setting and follow through here.