pause for a moment

“Stop and smell the roses”

That lovely phrase sounds great if you live in a rose garden, but seeing as most of us aren’t florists and live in a world that is fast paced and short on second chances – slowing down (let alone pausing) is a behavior many would hate to see on their MBTI assessment.

Herein lies the predicament of life.

Forget about “how” to pause for a moment and let’s discuss “why” you should pause and how it could boost your career. Pausing these days is mostly synonymous with our DVRs. Sure there is always mindfulness training which is a topic I have written about previously (20 Reasons To Practice Mindfulness) but what about simply slowing down at the office in service of your career – is it possible, and is it worth your while?

The short answer is yes.

The benefits far outweigh any concerns to the contrary. Pausing in the workplace has numerous benefits and not just in terms of public speaking. The benefits also support your wellbeing, as well as a provide a renewed focus and perspective in the day-to-day discovery and delivery of your work. According to Brian Tracy:

  • All excellent listeners are masters of the pause. They are comfortable with silences. When the other person finishes speaking, they take a breath, relax and smile before saying anything. They know that the pause is a key part of good communications.

Here are 5 areas where pausing can be beneficial in boosting your career:

  1. Healthier Workplace Interactions: By pausing when speaking with a coworker, you avoid the risk of interrupting them if they are simply gathering their thoughts and in return give them the space and presence to complete what they were saying. This will undoubtedly give you more information and garner the respect of the other individual.
  2. Improved Concentration: By pausing during the day, you can recharge your wellbeing and ultimately refocus on a project or task at hand. Doing so can ward off “decision fatigue” when confronted with too many options to choose from. Recharging your energy can also allow you to access your inner wisdom an intuition allowing for a better and/or new perspective.
  3. Boosts Creativity: By pausing and switching up your environment (from say your normal desk space or office) and doing something different such as taking a brisk strollor chatting it up with a friend has been proven to not only be beneficial but reignite your creative juices.
  4. Improved Wellness: By pausing for as little as two minutes during the workday, you can stand and stretch which drives oxygen to your brain and wakes you up. Taking a 20 second break and staring 20 feet away can relieve eye strain. There is even evidence that indeed checking your social media status and feed can potentially improve your productivity by 10%. Read more here on the full scoop.
  5. Better Decision Making: By pausing when brainstorming on an idea, you could save yourself both time and energy. I love the “Pause Principle” which essentially states that stepping back at the right moment in the process allows your brain to create those “Aha!” moments.

Final thoughts: There are many ways in which you can pause throughout your day. Some of the more popular ones are the Pomodoro method and the 52-17 method. In the end, it’s less important to find one that works and more important that you simply take a break and pause. This article should suffice as one of them so you are off to a great start, now get back to work.

The floor is yours: How does taking breaks improve your productivity?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

Joshua /

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