Being busy has become a badge of honor. Our to-do lists are burgeoning and our drive to get more done in less time is increasing. 

But ask yourself this question: Even if you feel busy all the time, do you feel like you are getting more done?

In his new book titled Do Pause, author Robert Poyton recommends a counter-intuitive idea in today's alway-on world: Take pauses. Do nothing sometimes, and you might be surprised by the results. 

Humans are not machines

As technology is getting faster and more efficient, human feels the need to stay on par. But we're not wired the same as machined, Poyton points out in a piece for The Guardian

He reminds us that there's more to life than getting things done. "Try to let go of the idea that time is linear, regular and objective, and think of it in the same way we experience it - as elastic, variable and layered," Poyton says. 

This is why you might have an a-ha moment in the shower or when you step away from your computer. It's that pause that lets your brain process and chew on a problem in a different way. 

Poyton shares an example from his own life. He's a writer who, like many writers, often gets stuck and experiences creative blocks. He's tried to solve this by concentrating harder. It doesn't work. But going for a walk nearly always does.

Even small pauses can be meaningful

The idea of a digital detox is certainly not new. There are digital detox weekends and no-Internet cabins galore if you want to unplug. 

But, pauses need not be for a fixed amount of time. It can mean taking a few deep breaths before walking into your next meeting or sitting quietly drinking your morning coffee (without zombie-eying your phone, of course.)

You can plan out pauses or let them happen spontaneously. Maybe a quick break in-between meetings. Instead of maximizing those few minutes with email or binging on Instagram, why not just do nothing? Take the opportunity to let yourself be still. 

In these moments, even if there's a lot do, Poyton repeats a mantra in his head: "There is time for everything." It's all about letting yourself be OK with not accomplishing something every single minute of the day. ​

Published on: Aug 31, 2019
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