The pause is one of the most valuable buttons on a remote control. It’s also one of the most valuable actions you can take when trying to be more productive. Sure, by pausing you are suspending one type of action…but you are doing so in favour of another: thinking.
When you pause, you are taking a short break in order to shift focus. There is thoughtfulness behind that, perhaps even mindfulness at times. I’ll pause during the writing process to form a better sentence. I’ll pause a show on Netflix when I need to get up to do something else. I will pause when the time calls for it so that I can get the most out of what I’m doing.
A pause is different than a stop. A stop means you’re done…at least for now. A pause means you’re taking a break from the present action…but only for a moment. The pause can add to the value of the action, whereas the stop ends it.
I pause a lot more these days. I pause when I read about a service like Vine so that I can give signing up for it more immediate thought than immediate action. I pause my planning when I drink my morning coffee just so I can better connect with that moment — and enjoy the cup all the more as a result.
I try to pause intentionally, though. I don’t let distractions or disruptions get the better of me as much as they used to. I think because I have gotten better at pressing pause that I’m able to ward them off far better.
A pause helps you deal with your to do list — especially the important things on it — better. Even things that are urgent can benefit from a pause. The pause can affect your work and your life in ways that going full speed cannot. You can see things better. You can see things clearer. You can see things prosper.
When you’re always on the go, things become gone that much faster. But not necessarily done that much faster.
For some people, today is the start of another work week. For others, that may have been yesterday…and for others still, tomorrow. Do yourself a favour and take at least one pause today. Take a long, deliberate pause — one that is outside of your comfort zone. Then ease back into the day and see where that pause will take you.
You’ll be surprised how much further you’ll go, how much more focused you’ll be, and how much more you’ll see when you press pause every once in a while.