The Power of Pause – By @t0o_ma1nstr3am

The Power of Pause

What does a creative do when they don’t have a deadline to deliver work?

Good question, Marc. And one that I have been asking myself a lot recently (I WISH). 

This is the first and perhaps the only time that we will not be presenting on a Friday….

Over the course of a week or so I have read a lot of books, but the one that has stood out to me the most has most definitely been Do//Pause, You are not a To Do list.  by Robert Poynton. A title that I am sure hits home with many, Poynton writes about the power of pause and why we should take time to pause. Without realising, it can be so easy to get sucked in; to the routine of saying “I don’t have enough time!” or “Where has the day gone?”, and in these moments, looking at our behaviours during the day, more often than not, we notice that we have not taken time to pause, think, or reflect.

One of Poyntons rituals, is a yearly weekend retreat with his friends in which they select around 10 or so books and spend the weekend digesting, discussing and thoroughly understanding the process (with a glass of wine or two perhaps?). Writing of one of his friends he writes:

“The idea of stopping can be simultaneously attractive and scary…I spent the first twenty-four hours watching my own levels of anxiety rise, because I wasn’t working on anything.”

Highlighting the pressure, I know I feel almost all of the time. However, this week, taking these words, in conjunction with talks from Diana Jervis Reed and Alex Mecklenberg have really hammered home the power of pause. Not to forget last week’s talk from the one and only Sir John Hegarty who said, “I always do my best thinking when I’m not thinking”.


-Take a walk

-Take a break

-Step away from the screen

…and take those headphones off!

I can guarantee that if you have read this far, you must feel or have felt it too!

Something to think about at least. 

The power of pause.

If you’re looking for another piece of recommended reading that links to this, or maybe just some science to back it all up, have a look at Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg PhD (Founder of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford). Not another cringe-worthy self-help book, but one that promotes making things really tiny in order to help us progress, grow and make change.

I will leave you with a concluding statement about time management. If you make tasks tiny, they feel more manageable. For example if you’d like to run a marathon, but it feels impossible, start with putting your trainers on. 

Maybe, just maybe once you’ve got your trainers on, you might just feel more inclined to go over the threshold and out of the front door.

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