Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes
martinsummerhay

PRA - Pause, Reflect, Act. The development of patience and the power of now

The return to work after the holidays brings both new challenges as well as the continuing focus on existing issues and tasks. It also brings renewed focuses on timescales and deliverables i.e "can we get a decision in the next 2 days?", "we need to publish the results - where are they?!", "where is that report that you promised on the 25th".

[This was the comment to me yesterday, that sparked this post,! and yes, the person concerned was asking why I had not sent a report on Christmas day. I could have responded that I was up to my armpits in cooking dinner, opening presents, spending quality time with family & friends, but, instead I practiced what I mention below]

The obviously drives a certain set of responses, sometimes those of "oh heck, how am I going to respond to that?", "Reply All, xxxxxxx" - on e:mails, where people just fire off a response immediately after receiving the request.

The faster you respond, the faster people react. This becomes a vicious circle of rapid reactionary, non-thought through verbage.

The ability to step out of a particular situation, pause, reflect on what is being asked, before responding is a difficult, hard learnt, but a very useful skill to development.

I have learnt and am sharing with colleagues the concept of:

PRA - Pause; Reflect; Act

I have used this for a number of years and it works for me.

For E:Mails - I tend to not respond to e:mails immediately, rather leaving it to later in the day or even the following morning.Or if I am in the moment and have the thoughts to hand about the issue, I draft a response and leave them for up to 24 hours before I reflectively review the contents, check and adjust and then send

For Meetings - I tend to not just respond to the dialogue that goes on, but put a comment on a notepad and then quickly scan read, and then respond. If I am asked a questions, I tend to use the phrase "Can I just reflect on that for a moment?"

Everyone's approach is different and unique and mine are not the cure-all. Please feel free to share your approach.
Tags: mindfulness, pause, work
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