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The Importance of Learning How to Pause.

Jason Chatfield


“No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility.
Be careful what (and who) you say yes to. It will shape your day, your career, your family, your life.”

~ James Clear

Today I’m focusing on why you say yes to things you don’t want to do.

There are a lot of reasons people say yes to things they don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s because they feel they have an obligation, sometimes it’s because they think that’s their job, sometimes they think it’s because if they don’t do it, it won’t get done right, and sometimes it’s just because you’re afraid of what will happen if you say NO.

It’s important to take a moment and really understand the power of PAUSING before you answer any kind of request. When someone asks something of you, take a beat before responding; whether it’s in text, email, over the phone or video chat, or in person.

When you PAUSE, you allow yourself a moment to ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this? Does this serve me? Will this take up time that I could be using for something better? Am I just doing this to be nice? Will I regret saying yes to this as soon as I hang up?”

Just for today, practice PAUSING before responding to any kind of request; big or small. Even if it’s a request for something you like to do — PAUSE then respond. If, during the pause, you realize the request is not something that will serve you well, you know what magic word to use: …NO.

Good luck,


More No-Vember Challenges here.



Jason Chatfield

New York-based Australian Comedian & Cartoonist for the New Yorker. Obsessed with productivity hacks, the creative process, and the Oxford comma.