The significance of pauses in the creative process

The corporate world’s executives might say that a pause is simply just a waste of time since people spend it doing nothing. However, in the creative world, the concept of pause is radically different. Here, it is considered as a technique to brainstorm more ideas and be more productive in general.


Creative professionals tend to work long hours on numerous projects. Nevertheless, most of them tend to reach the breaking point, where exhaustion causes the creative block. As a result, lots of projects tend to be left unfinished or unfulfilled. All of this is a result of working without giving a break to the brain and consciousness.


To avoid such situations, more and more creative professionals include pauses in their daily or weekly routines. And there are numerous reasons why a simple practice of taking a break makes work more effective and efficient.


Pauses allow creatives to get new ideas

While working on a project, some professionals tend to be deep down in their computers or other working space and ignore all surroundings. This might be a good strategy while implementing finishing touches on a project. However, from the very start, the amount of ideas and creativity is the most important part. This is where a pause comes in handy. It allows the creative’s mind to relax and subconsciously explore new possibilities and new ways to create a project. These kinds of breaks can be included in daily routine and can be taken regularly while working. Some like to use the pause and go for a walk or make themselves a fresh cup of coffee. Anything to get a mind distracted from work.

“A longer pause provides a different kind of opportunity to engage a different kind of mind. It gives intelligent unconscious a chance to have a crack at a problem, bringing more associative, creative quality of thinking to bear.”

–– Robert Poynton ‘Do Pause: You are not a To Do List’, 2019

Creation by Ivo von Renner
The pause helps to re-evaluate the current stage of the creative project

There are numerous cases, where creatives are working non-stop on particular projects. Sometimes, only at the very end, do they realize that the outcome will be unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, in most situations, it is usually too late to change the result. Thus, to avoid this, it is important to also use pauses for re-evaluation. Think once again of the main points that were requested by the client/boss, what is the main audience for the project, what is the best way to attract that clientele, what are the competitors doing, etc. This should allow one to look at the project with a fresh set of eyes and notice various elements that can be either removed or changed.


Creation by Marie Reche
Pauses increase productivity

Even though the main idea of taking a pause is to do nothing, which can be considered a waste of time, this technique actually allows the brain to think better. In other words, taking regular (or irregular) pauses allows creative professionals to do more work in a shorter amount of time.

“It is a myth that ideas occur instantly. Eureka moments come out of ‘slow hunches’ which build up over time, so let ideas linger. Pause with them, allow them to sit on a shelf in the back of your mind until the right moment appears.”

Creation by Julien Arts
The pause allows having a healthy work-personal life balance

Creatives have different routine activities that they undertake while taking a break from work. As mentioned above, this can include taking a walk, cooking, running various errands and so on. And while these pauses give great benefit to productivity, it also helps working professionals to incorporate work-unrelated tasks to their working time. As a result, at the end of the day, they can dedicate all of their spare time to personal needs and not worry about getting groceries or doing other personal tasks.

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