When Life Calls Time Out, Ep. 35 | noscheduleman.com

Podcast discussion about when life calls time out

When Life Calls Time Out | Journeys with the No Schedule Man Podcast, Ep. 35Time out.

This is episode is about acknowledging when life calls time out, and what to do about it.

For a child, it might be interpreted as a punishment for poor behaviour. In the sports world, it can be used as a means to disrupt some negative momentum, or even just to “stop the clock.”

In this context, it’s about recognizing when life is trying to tell you, “Hey. There’s something here that needs your attention. Slow down. Rest for a while.” And with that in mind, I could argue that this particular podcast episode shouldn’t even exist. I stubbornly want to meet my own goals when I probably would have been better off by letting it go and resting instead. I have learned the hard way that life sometimes calls “time out” for good reason. If you ignore those calls, you do so at your own peril.

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My question with this episode is: how do you recognize when life calls time out? And what do you do about it? How are you able to distinguish it from an everyday excuse born of fatigue or routine (we all have things we don’t feel like doing but we go through with it anyway).

I have a list of things I look to for time outs on a day-to-day basis. Things like:

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • A visit with a friend
  • The odd sleep-in day and lazy morning

What I’m referring to here are the times when you’ve tried all your tricks and life is still clearly telling you to slow down or stop. Perhaps you’ve been working through a cold that just isn’t going away so your body ramps up the fatigue to slow you down, or you’re noticing that a few little disruptions seem to be turning into an avalanche of obstacles and your ability to cope is dwindling. However you characterize it, how do you know and what do you do about it?

We choose how gently we get our lesson by how open we are to learning. Life teaches us with a sledgehammer if we refuse to pay attention. It administers the same lesson with a feather tickle if we show a willingness to learn.

– Gay Hendricks, “Conscious Living”

As my journey goes along, I’m coming around to believing that recognizing and respecting the required timeouts are a critical component of staying in the game more effectively and for longer stretches of time. Think of it like a race car trying to go 500 miles without a few pit stops. It can’t be done. And if you stay on the track at high speed with a bad wheel vibration, you’re headed for a wreck. Your life and overall well-being works much the same way.

In this episode, I tell the story of how I brought about severe back pain, ignored the clear signals to slow down and just kept digging toward my goals. I honestly felt there was nobility in soldiering on. And perhaps there was, except that I can now see with the benefit of hindsight that I was receiving very clear signals from the universe that I needed to pull into the pits. I didn’t, and I ended up suffering a crash. A series of them, in fact.

The Warrior knows that there are occasional pauses in the struggle …. He knows that maintenance is as important as action.

– Paulo Coelho, “Warrior of the Light”

When you are a driven, goal-oriented person, it’s not unlikely that you will face this challenge from time-to-time. Some days, you just don’t feel like doing what you need to do but you do it anyway. Life goes on. Other days turn out as just “one of those days.” We all have them. We file them away and wake up ready for the next one.

Then there are the times when you finally admit you just need to stop. For an hour. A day. A week. A year. When this happens, everything that seemed so completely urgent and necessary can suddenly be set aside for the sake of your own well being.

What does that look like for you? I’m open to tips and suggestions because I’m finding out that the sooner I clue in to the need for those “timeouts,” the shorter and less frequent they become.

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Kevin Bulmer speaking on stage | noscheduleman.comThe founder of No Schedule Man Brand Media, Kevin Bulmer is a Strategic Marketing and Mindset Coach and Keynote Speaker. He is the producer and host of the momondays London inspirational event series, strategic marketing coach for Awesomepreneurs and is also host of the podcast, “Journeys with the No Schedule Man.”

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  • MarieAnne, Linda Cooke says:

    Hi, I believe it is detrimental to ones mental, physical and spiritual self to take ‘time outs’. Especially when people are in the care giving field. So much of our energy are being sucked out of us, and we need to know how to replenish.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks for your note! Do you mean you feel it’s detrimental to not take time outs? That’s how the rest of your comment reads to me. I agree totally with your thoughts on needing to replenish.
      Wishing you the best,

  • Juan says:

    As a college student, I’ve definitely noticed a big tendency to keep pushing through schoolwork and life without taking a break. You see this most often when people pull all nighters before big presentations and tests. I personally could not agree with you more, I think oftentimes rest accomplishes more than work because you won’t be working at your %100 when you’re exhausted. Also, you risk burning out and losing your motivation to work.

    Though counter intuitive, the slow but persistent turtle wins the race against the rabbit every single time. The path to our goals is a slow race.

    Great post.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks Juan! You’re speaking my language with the reference to the turtle. Good stuff!
      Many thanks for your kind words.
      Best wishes,

  • Tammy says:

    I find that if you don’t take time outs for yourself, it hurts not only you but your family and friends. I can tell when it is time to slow down when I am getting impatient with my kids or husband. If you don’t take a time out, it can hurt you physically too. Love your insights too. My time outs usually are going for a drive or watching a movie I really like.

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Tammy!
      I agree, we do more damage than we know when we do not honor and nurture ourselves. We’ve got to look after ourselves first if we’re going to be able to take care of anyone else. A lot of us have this backwards. I know I have been that way for far too much or my life … or viewed “taking care of myself” with things that, in fact, were actually making it worse.
      Wishing you all the best,

  • David Ramoabi says:

    i have defenately had one one of those when life humbles you softly and you realise theres nothing you can do about it

  • Zuwa says:

    Hi Kevin
    Great post and I loved litsening to your podcast. I also love the fact that you remind us to take a break and listen to our bodys when it comes to rest. This can be difficult sometimes especially when you’re in the “zone” and really into what you are doing.

    But I must admit, ignoring our bodys “rest” signals does come with its own consequences. I have expierenced this in the form of burn out and your post could’nt have come at a better time. I love to workout and sometimes I can over do it. Thanks so much for the reminder of just how important rest is.


    • Kevin says:

      Well said, Zuwa! I like to feel like I’m always driving forward too, like I have to “earn” the rest. It’s a flawed view. I paid a heavy price by not listening to my body years ago, and I try much harder to stay in touch with myself now, with mixed results. I’m still prone to feeling as if I’m procrastinating or making excuses if I slow down for a bit, although I fully realize that in order to stay in the game long-term, I’ve gotta have some time on the sidelines to get restored.
      Thanks for your comments, Zuwa!
      Best wishes,

  • Brandon says:

    Wow, that is something I haven’t thought about before. My body has probably told me to take some “time out” many times, but I’ve probably just brushed it off every time. There’s a good reason why you need to take a little time out, because your body NEEDS it. Oftentimes we forget how important it is to rest, to take a break from the fast life, and your article explains exactly how to do it. Thank you so much for this great write-up! Good luck!

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks Brandon. that’s well said! And I feel that not only does your body need it, your mind & spirit need it, too. Still … I keep falling into the same trap of feeling like I should be in perpetual motion. But I’m getting better at it.
      Best wishes,

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