Just pause for a moment.

Are you still on track?

In a world that increasingly asks us to move faster, and do more to be effective, the idea that what you actually need to do every now and then is stop seems counterproductive.

Knowing when to engage is just as important as knowing when to disengage.

A purposeful pause is exactly what you need if you constantly demand more from your brain.

According to research, the brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant over time. You lose your focus and your performance on the task declines.

Take action right now to reflect, to slow down, to disconnect, to pause.

Roopleen once said, “Whatever phase of life you are in, make time to pause and reflect where you are heading to. It is a good time to insert a comma now and realign yourself to your inner self before your life ends in a full stop.”

Instead of taking time to pause, reflect, and reassess, many people repeatedly run head-first into the same issues and crash.

Are you still moving in the direction of your goal, dream or vision?

Are your daily, weekly and monthly goals still leading you towards your bigger goal?

Pausing to ask yourself what, how, and why you are doing things can be exactly what you need in order to resume forward progress.

Kristin Armstrong stresses the many benefits of taking a productive pause. She says, “It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.

Once a while it pays to take a pause on purpose and reflect on how far you’ve come.

Pause your forward momentum for a few minutes and let my mind wander.

Slow down your momentum. Pause in the moment. Stop to reset.

Take a short walk in the middle of your race. A pause. A breath. A moment to take stock. To realign your form. Your focus. Your purpose.

“Life is a dash. Pause in the present. Enjoy this moment.” says J.R. Rim

Pausing, noticing and recognising your enables you to see the path that can help you reclaim your productive life.

Pausing allows you to bring your whole self into your work and life. It helps you spend your time on the things that matter most to you. The time you think you waste taking your pause will benefit your productivity.

Take a pause before it’s necessary

Take a disciplined pause.

Rollo May was right when he said, “Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between the stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight. The capacity to create ourselves, based upon this freedom, is inseparable from consciousness or self-awareness.”

Terry Hershey writes in his book, The Power of Pause, “While waiting for perfect, we pass on ordinary. While waiting for better, we don’t give our best effort to good. While waiting for new and improved, we leach the joy right out of the old and reliable.” He suggests that we pause and notice those ordinary moments. They are morsels with joy hidden deep within.

If the quality of your work has slipped it’s time to stop and measure. Pause, re-strategise and get your performance back up to your standards.

Your brain needs downtime to recover. A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves creativity, and memory. And that skipping breaks can lead to stress, exhaustion, and creative block.

Writers, artists, and creators in any field, all recommend a distance away from their work, before they revisit it.

Charles Dickens wrote his novels between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. After that, he would go out for a long walk. He once said, “If I couldn’t walk fast and far, I should just explode and perish.”

When you begin to routinely take a few moments to intentionally stop, you can begin to notice when you are living your life on autopilot.

It pays to withdraw to a place within yourself momentarily where you can re-fuel, re-new and reflect.

Pause to reflect. Pause to feel progress. Pause to create. Pause to think. Pause to take control. By all means pause. Your total well-being and success depends on it.

When in doubt, pause!

Press pause today and get yourself back on track.

Before you go…

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Originally published at medium.com