30th April, 2024

Too Busy NOT to Pause

With Rachel Morris

Dr Rachel Morris

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On this episode

We can easily get caught in a cycle of constant work, thinking we can’t afford even a short break. This affects our wellbeing, our productivity, and our problem-solving abilities.

But short pauses – every hour or over lunch – can help clear our minds, meaning we can return to our work with more energy and a fresh perspective.

These short breaks are a chance to physically move away from our workspace – maybe to make a cup of tea or walk outside. Lunchtime breaks are even more helpful, but we often don’t taken them. Leaving our workspace and heading outside gives our brains that much needed rest. And finally, think about taking a full day off each week. This might need some planning, but the benefits are worth the effort.

If we keep believing we’re too busy to take a break, our performance suffers and our problem-solving abilities dwindle. We end up trapped in a state of urgency, where everything feels immediate and important, leaving us unable to distinguish what truly matters.

The next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, try scheduling a short break. By stepping away from the task at hand, you let yourself reset, which enhances your productivity and improves your problem-solving abilities.

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Reasons to listen

  • To learn about the importance of taking regular breaks for productivity, performance, and problem-solving.
  • To discover how to plan and incorporate pauses into your daily and weekly schedule.
  • To understand the concept of the “urgency trap” and how to avoid it.

Episode highlights


The urgency trap


The default mode network


Finding short moments of pause


Hacking breaks


Pausing for a day a week


Time confetti


Time to decelerate


The productivity pause


Thrive Week Planner

Episode transcript

[00:00:00] Rachel: A couple of years ago, I was speaking at a conference and there was a table full of practice managers at the back of the room. And halfway through the talk. I got the distinct impression that they were not happy with what I was talking about. I was talking about the importance of taking coffee breaks in practices and how they really increased informal connections, they increased wellbeing, they increased productivity, but I was just getting glared, at daggers and daggers from this table at the back. [00:00:29] So in the coffee break. I went up to…

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