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Front cover of Do Pause by Robert Poynton

Do Pause

You are not a To Do list.

Robert Poynton

Machines are designed to run constantly; people aren’t. Our coping mechanisms are meditation apps, weekend breaks and annual holidays, but things soon revert. To prosper, we need a more sustainable approach — an ability to pause.

Do Pause looks at the importance of this subtle yet powerful idea to communication, creativity, relationships — as well as our wellbeing and sanity. With practical tools to help you create new habits or make more significant lifestyle choices, you’ll discover ways to:
  • Reset and regenerate
  • Deepen your thinking and experiences
  • Take back control of your time
  • Reconnect with other people — and yourself

From taking a breath to taking a sabbatical, a pause can be many things. And the good news is, even just a small pause every now and again can make a real and lasting difference.

This paperback purchase includes a free ebook download.


An essential book that makes you pause. And then think about time. And then change.

Leila Ferreira, writer & journalist

Knowing when to stop, disconnect and reassess things isn't a mid-life crisis or a sign of weakness – it's a fundamental necessity. Recommended to help you slow down.


Most self-help guides give you tips to cram more into your life. But Do Pause will ensure the reverse – that you get more out of your life. Pressing the pause button is the key to being happier and healthier.

Inspire, Daily Mail

What an excellent book this is. Warm, wise and explains how you literally create time.

Nick Parker, author

Robert Poynton's incisive new book... encourages us to make a little more time for pauses in our lives.

The Essential Journal

Even a briefest moment of idle time, or pauses, are important says Robert Poynton, author of Do Pause: You are not a To Do list

Washington Post

International editions

Pausa - Audiobook coverSpanish


Do Pause: You are not a To Do list - Audiobook
Robert’s Do Lecture

Why we all need to pause right now

Robert shares insights from Do Pause as he reflects on the moment the world was put on pause during the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown of 2020.

About the author

Robert Poynton divides his time between an off-grid, solar-powered house in rural Spain and Oxford, where he is an Associate Fellow of the University's Saïd Business School. He designs and facilitates programmes, retreats and workshops – which act as pauses for thought – both online and in person, for organisations and individuals. In Spain, he hosts a range of creative programmes and events, such as Reading Retreats. His work at Oxford University is practical not academic – he uses the playful approach described in Do Improvise (published 2013, updated 2022), to help leaders work with complex change. For 10 years he has been part of the Praxis Forum at Green Templeton College, a research centre focused on the connection between thinking and doing. In 2020 he founded Yellow, an online learning programme. He has spoken and led workshops at The DO Lectures, The Skoll World Forum, Singularity University and Schumacher College. He is married with three grown up sons. His wife runs an organic beef farm.

Product details

  • Pub date: April 2019
  • Dimensions: 120 x 178mm
  • Extent: 128 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-907974-63-2
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-907974-64-9


Colour photography by Jim Marsden

Paper & print details

Paperback editions are printed by OZGraf Print on Munken, an FSC-certified paper

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