The Blog.

Don’t forget to breathe

8 Feb 2011 | Business Life, Personal Productivity

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…” Joni Mitchell

Isn’t it funny how we take things for granted until we don’t have it, then we notice how important they are?

No, this isn’t a blog post about lost loves or making the most of your children because they grow up so fast. I’m thinking of much more basic things.

Like sleep. Like waking up in the morning to your own thoughts. Or having complete privacy when you go to the toilet.

Like breathing.

I love being productive. Getting more done in less time means I get to make things happen quicker (appeals to my impatience) and enjoy more of what’s important to me. And I love creating shortcuts and finding ways to fit more into the time that I have. Let’s face it, that’s easier than trying to ‘find’ more time (incidentally it’s not under the sofa – there are lots of things under my sofa but time is not one of them). And I think that’s natural – we like to pay attention to things of substance, things we can see and touch, things we can tick off a list – we focus on what we want to say rather than the breath in between.

But sometimes we can get so good at taking out the ‘fluff’, filling in the gaps, packing more in and squeezing out the air – it’s not until we run out of air that we realise how much we need it! Swimmers, runners, singers and brass players will know what I mean.

A breath can

  • Give you room to think
  • Supply energy and fuel for what’s next
  • Inspire you (did you know that the word inspire literally means ‘to breathe into’?)
  • Give you life

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” Etty Hillesum

Think about it, when you go to bed it’s air that provides comfort when you sink your head onto your pillow. It’s air that provides warmth in insulation.

It’s air that lifts a hot air balloon to soar and fly high…

So if you’re planning to be more productive, what are you planning in, to give you flexibility, room, energy and inspiration?

Don’t forget to breathe 🙂

Looking for more productivity without burning out or having to find a magic 25th hour? Learn how to be a productivity ninja at my next How to Get Things Done workshop.


  1. Heather Bestel

    Love your post! In fact I love anything with a Joni quote in it LOL.
    You’ve touched upon a really important subject. As mums and business owners, we can often just keep pushing ourselves to get the next thing done, forgetting to see to our own needs. It’s important to take time out.
    Thanks for reminding us.
    Heather x

    • Grace Marshall

      Yay Heather, another mum and business owner who gets it! By taking time out to see to our own needs, we can be and give so much more to what’s important to us – and enjoy more of it too. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Grace x

  2. Ali

    So true Grace, one of my things is sometimes I am so as I said yesterday ‘La La’ brain and chasing my tail I realise I have my tummy tense and not breathing properly at all. When I stop and take a deep breath it feels so much better 🙂

    • Grace Marshall

      Good to notice isn’t it? Love it when something so simple makes such a difference 🙂

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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