By Leo Babauta
There is one little habit I’ve learned that has changed everything else in my life, including procrastination.
When we fail, it’s because we act on urges without thinking, without realizing it. We have the urge to check Facebook or email, and we do it.
What if instead we learned to pause after each urge? What if we stopped, looked at that urge, paid close attention to what it feels like inside our bodies, but didn’t act?
The urge would no longer control us. We would be able to make conscious choices that might be healthier for us, help us be happier.
If we can pause, we create space. Space to breathe, to think, to be without acting.
To develop the pause, notice your next urge. Is it an urge to go check something online? Or put off what you know you should be doing? Pay attention to the urge, learn as much as you can about it. If you act on it after the pause, that’s OK. Just notice it, and pause, and pay attention.
Do it again for the next urge, and the next. You will get good at it with practice, and you’ll have lots of opportunities to practice.
The urges won’t go away, but your ability to pause will get stronger. And when you have the pause, you have everything.