Pause and Effect


(By John Shomby) When was the last time you just paused for a moment? I had the pleasure of hearing a speaker several weeks back offer what an occasional pause can do to help slow your world down and provide perspective when needed most.

She encouraged us with an organized plan to take time, sit in silence, and step away from worry, hurry, and weary to create balance. As mental health has been a hot topic in our industry today, I began to see the possible benefits in our business of taking a pause that would not only affect our personal lives but also a specific station’s culture.

Radio is a 24/7 occupation for the most part. The lights are never out. Holidays are few and far between, so we are conditioned to have something happening as long as we are awake. (Let’s not get into those dead-air dreams we all have.)

The speaker suggested four concepts to create your pause time: sit, seek, celebrate, and stay.

Sit – This is for your actual, physical, planned pause. Find a quiet spot/time, quiet your mind, and just focus on the present. Don’t worry about that Zoom call later in the day or the ratings release tomorrow. Just be in the now.

Seek – Focus on all your senses and note what they are telling you. Listen and look. Notice the detail of your surroundings. Take some deep breaths and look for the good.

Celebrate – While you’re focused, acknowledge and appreciate the good things – personal achievement, good family news, anything positive. Quietly enjoy what you’re feeling.

Stay – Be aware of the now. Remain in the present. Don’t look back or forward. If your mind wanders, just gently bring it back to the present. Eliminate any of the chaos that clutters your mind.

There is no time limit and there are no risks. It’s just a time to put your mental recorder on pause and enjoy the silence. The key is to find what helps you truly pause and connect with yourself.

Sometimes one can learn more from our children than anyone our own age. My wife related a story from when our daughter was just a second grader. My wife was so proud that she had our daughter involved in something constructive and/or educational every day after school.

Of course, that all came to a grinding halt one day when our daughter exclaimed, “When do I get to be a kid?!” We were so caught up in our goals that we did not take the time to pause and let our little girl just enjoy childhood occasionally.

Think about the by-products of this “pause” time. Less stress, for sure, by taking that moment to relax and reset. Focusing on the present can help you with overall focus and attention thus being more productive and decisive for the rest of your day. Your overall well-being will benefit as you will be able to address various issues of anxiety or anger with a much calmer attitude.

Your creativity will be stimulated as your mind wanders. Your relationships overall could improve as your pause time could help you respond more thoughtfully to others and communicate more effectively. Finally, you may see some definite physical benefits from reduced muscle tension (no more “cricks” in the neck) to lower blood pressure.

I can see the eye rolls from here, but I would highly suggest giving this a true shot. This is not a special form of meditation or anything like that. Just a simple exercise in alone time. Speaking from experience, this exercise really can alter your attitude during a given day. It takes a little (very little) time and some definite discipline but the results speak for themselves.

Based in Nashville, TN, John Shomby is the owner and CEO of Country’s Radio Coach. He is focused on coaching and mentoring artists, radio programmers, and on-air talent to help them grow and develop inside the radio station and the industry. Reach John at [email protected] and 757-323-1460. Read John’s Radio Ink archives here.


  1. No eye roll here. Had a WWII vet tell me, “It’s okay to just…stand…still”. “Sometimes standing still is good”. An…tici…pation is your FOMO. Miss you & thanks.


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