10 Times You Need to Press the Pause Button in Life

Pause Button Key

Do you find yourself rushing from task-to-task?

You tell yourself (and others) that you don’t have time to get everything done.

Or maybe, you are pushing past your limits…operating at 110% for weeks on end.

It might be time to push the “pause button” so that you can catch up.

Pausing for Productivity

I was talking to an individual recently, who was venting to me about his ability to catch up at work. He was way behind and new work was piling up faster than he could get to it.

I suggested that he take a break in order to evaluate his situation.

He responded, “Take a break? I don’t have time for that!”

“Sometimes you need to pause in order to move forward.” (Tweet this Quote)

Ironically, a few weeks later he called to tell me that he had fallen ill from exhaustion and had to take a week off from work.

If you don’t push the pause button, sometimes life will push it for you.

Stopping to Get Ahead

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to stop in order to get ahead.

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

Other times, you may simply need a break to recharge and prevent burnout. If that occurs, you are going to spend a lot more time recovering than if you had taken a break in the first place.

Here are 10 Times You Need to Push the Pause Button in Life:

  1. When You Are Behind – You may need to hit the brakes in order to move forward again. If you are always working on yesterday’s work, you will never give today’s the attention it needs. Take a pause and catch up.
  2. When You Are Delivering Less Than Your Best – If the quality of your work has slipped it’s time to stop and evaluate the reason. Often, you know it. Pause and get your performance back up to your standards.
  3. When You Need More Time – Stop, when I already don’t have enough time? Rushing. Pause. Stop and throttle back. If you have 9 appointments today, maybe you need to pause and evaluate. You’ll thank yourself for slowing down and re-calculating.
  4. When You Find Yourself Doing Something You Shouldn’t Be – If you find yourself working on the trivial and not getting to your most important work, you need to stop and re-prioritize. Or perhaps, your behavior has become self-destructive. (See #5)
  5. When You Need a Break – No one can operate above their limits for long. You will burn yourself out if you don’t pause and recover. Don’t let you health or behavior be your un-doing.
  6. When You Are Rushing – There is much truth to the old adage, “Haste makes waste.” If you are going so fast that you are making mistakes, you are only going to create more work. Or as one of my favorite authors Jeffrey Mayer said, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when are you going to have time to do it over?”
  7. When You Are Not Ready – This one is not to be used for inaction or procrastination. Yet, if you know you are not ready, take a pause to prepare for your day.
  8. When You Need to Make an Important Decision – When you need to make an important decision in life, pause and make a conscious choice. Better to take a pause and make your decision than let life make it for you.
  9. When You Are Under the Weather – You can only push yourself so far. If you don’t take a break, life will find a way to make you take one. As well, have respect for others and don’t bring your illness to work.
  10. To Enjoy Life and Time with Others – You can’t rush fun. And you can’t force quality time with your loved ones. You have to pause and enjoy the time together. Put other things on hold while you spend time with your family.

Take a Pause Before It is Necessary

When you find yourself  constantly rushing, take a moment to pause.

It may be time to catch up, or evaluate your actions.

Life happens. Everyone needs a break from time-to-time.

So, press pause today and get yourself back on track.

Question: What do you need to press the pause button? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Invest just 10 minutes a day toward the right ideas, behaviors and strategies to finally be more productive at work…so you can spend less time there! 31 Days, 31 Ways: Daily Tips for Time Management Mastery is my time management course, containing 31 powerful daily lessons and 31 actionable exercises designed to help you take action, reduce stress, and reclaim your time. Click here to learn more.

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6 thoughts on “10 Times You Need to Press the Pause Button in Life

  1. “Take a pause before it’s necessary.” Excellent advice.

    I heard that thirst is an early sign of dehydration. But it comes after dehydration has started. Working in a factory with high temperatures, I’ve learned to drink water before I get thirsty.

    The same principle applies to pushing pause. It’s hard to learn, and I’m still working on it. But I know that easier to recover before I reach overload.

  2. Funny how what we need sometimes is the opposite of what we think we need. Calculated, balanced efforts are much more effective than incessant, unfocused activity.