This weekend I stopped.
I stopped all work related activities. I completely disengaged from work and fully engaged in Nerf gun wars, Uno, sled races, reading books, taking naps, cuddling with my favorite people, and I even had the chance to slide down a snow covered hill on a saucer with Mrs. Peterson on my lap!
This weekend we spent time making memories, nurturing friendships, and doing things that “normal” life doesn’t have space for.
Many people think a “stop” is a waste of time. I used to think that. I don’t anymore.
A large part of my change in thinking has to do with a book I read a couple of years ago and am now currently re-reading… The Power of Full Engagement.
The authors of this must-read book say: “Our capacity to be fully engaged depends on our ability to periodically disengage.”
Oh man are they ever right!
I find that when I don’t disengage I become less and less engaged in the work at hand. BUT…
When I intentionally disengage I am more engaged than ever when I re-engage!
Let me give you some examples of how this works:
- If you’re a parent and you’ve had the chance to take a night away or a weekend away from your kids… you can’t wait to get back to them! It’s like the time away (i.e. the period of disengagement) has reinvigorated you!
- When you miss the gym for a few days… you CAN’T WAIT to get back! Smart lifters actually build down time into their training schedule. They call it “de-load week“.
- “Amazingly” distance from your spouse for a short period of time often serves to rekindle the passion in your romance!
- Studies consistently show that people most often get their best and most creative ideas in the shower, while driving, on the golf course, etc. in other words, our best ideas of come to us in places in which we are most disengaged!
I really can’t wait to get back into the swing of life this week! I ready to re-engage because I have disengaged!
If you have trouble disengaging, take a minute to read this journal entry from a man who was more busy than you or I will ever be, David. He had hundreds of wives, multiple children, a nation to lead, wars to fight, literature to write, and on and on and on. Read this, and note all of the references to “disengaging” that he makes…
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 NLT)
Well, I’ve got to get going… the kids are waking up, but I hope that you can find a chance to disengage/stop soon so that you can re-engage later with increased passion and focus!