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Pause summary

Rachael O’Meara

Harnessing the Life-Changing Power of Giving Yourself a Break

4.2 (166 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Pause by Rachael O'Meara is a guidebook to help you live a more intentional life. It teaches readers to slow down and take time to reflect in order to manage stress and increase productivity.

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    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    There are five common signs that you might need to take a break.

    Have you ever had a job you absolutely loved – until, suddenly, you didn’t anymore? Sometimes the fun’s simply gone and the thought of another day at the office fills you with nothing but dread.

    That’s a sign you might need a break.

    Call it a pause. A pause is a moment of reflection during which you give yourself the time and space to get back in tune with your intuition. Once you do that, you can start planning changes that’ll put you on the road to a better, more authentic life.

    But that comes later. First, you need to recognize that you need a time-out.

    The two most common signs are hating your job and poor performance.

    The author noticed these herself during her time as a support manager at Google.

    At first, she found her work fulfilling, but, over time, she realized that she was feeling stuck. She struggled to get things done as quickly as she was expected to and checked out mentally during meetings. Overwhelmed and burned out, she lost all her enthusiasm.

    Unsurprisingly, her performance suffered. Her boss tried to help her by offering constructive feedback, but she just couldn’t get back into the groove of things. Eventually, she was told that she wasn’t a good fit for her job. It was clear that she needed a pause – badly!

    Poor performance and discontent are pretty definite indicators that taking a break might be a good idea. But they aren’t the only ones.

    You should also pay attention to how you use technology.

    Sure, the latest gadgets and gizmos are great, but overusing them is often a symptom of an underlying problem. If you notice that you’re glued to your devices and letting them get in the way of simple pleasures like a walk in the park or spending an evening with friends, you’re probably ready for a break.

    Then there are big life changes that demand time and attention. If someone you love asks you for help during a tough period in her life, it’s not a bad idea to hit the pause button.

    Finally, there are positive reasons for taking a pause. New opportunities that you’re interested in exploring – a job opening, for instance – fall under this category.

    Look out for these signs and ask yourself whether a pause might be right for you.

    If it is, now’s the time to start planning it. In the next blink, you’ll learn why understanding your yearnings is central to that process.

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    Key ideas in Pause

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    What is Pause about?

    Pause (2017) wages war on burnout and provides a road map to a more meaningful life. Rachael O’Meara’s prescription for work-related stress? Take a break. That doesn’t just mean hitting the pause button, though. A break is an invaluable moment of reflection, growth and reassessment. Follow O’Meara’s actionable insights and you’ll emerge on the other side of your pause feeling refreshed, recentered and ready for the next round.

    Pause Review

    Pause (2017) by Rachael O’Meara presents a compelling case for the importance of taking breaks and stepping back in our fast-paced lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers practical strategies to create space for reflection and self-care, promoting a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
    • Combines personal stories, expert interviews, and scientific research, making it a well-rounded and convincing exploration of the benefits of pausing.
    • With its insightful anecdotes and relatable examples, the book keeps readers engaged and ensures that the topic of slowing down never becomes dull or mundane.

    Best quote from Pause

    [A pause] can be a paid vacation or an unpaid leave of absence. It can be a hiatus between two jobs or any other change.

    —Rachael O’Meara
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    Who should read Pause?

    • People on the verge of burnout
    • Fans of mindfulness and reflective living
    • Anyone who’s wondered how to take time out without breaking the bank

    About the Author

    Rachael O’Meara is a certified coach who specializes in transformational leadership and executive coaching. When she’s not working as a sales executive at Google, she can be found giving talks on mindfulness, as well as volunteering at the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

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    Pause FAQs 

    What is the main message of Pause?

    The main message of Pause is the importance of taking deliberate breaks to recharge and reconnect with ourselves.

    How long does it take to read Pause?

    The reading time for Pause varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Pause a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Pause is a valuable read for anyone striving for a healthier work-life balance. It offers practical tips and insights to help us pause and find more fulfillment.

    Who is the author of Pause?

    The author of Pause is Rachael O’Meara.

    What to read after Pause?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Pause, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
    • Overworked and Overwhelmed by Scott Eblin
    • Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
    • How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric
    • The Art of Rest by Claudia Hammond
    • The Art of Influencing Anyone by Niall Cassidy
    • How Not to Worry by Paul McGee
    • Think This, Not That by Josh Axe
    • Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl