As product managers and leaders, we spend days running from fire drill to fire drill. We are wiped out. And when the kids are asleep, we hit our email and Slack messages to finish up the day.

Working like this is stressful; it impacts our health and family and does NOT enable us to get to the next level. I will stay it again; working nonstop will not help you move into product leadership.

What will help you level-up and love working again is pausing. One of the essential attributes of an inspired product leader is having the discipline of the PAUSE.

How does the pause help?

Focus:  You can’t give your best when you’re doing more than one thing at a time. Many of my clients brag about how great they are at multitasking. However, the reality is doing just a few of the right things very well will get you promoted. Closing JIRA tickets or responding to support requests is going to keep you stuck. Great product leaders have the discipline of pausing to focus their attention and concentration. The result is an amazing product strategy instead of a large number of closed JIRA tickets.

Improve Performance: Most people think to perform better, you have to go faster and quicker. But I’ve found that doing something quickly doesn’t mean you’re doing it well.

Build Relationships: Tech is easy, people are hard. The heart of being an amazing product leader is your ability to form relationships and build connections. Relationships are all about investing yourself in another person, and that’s not a process you can rush. 

The most effective product leaders understand that a team’s ability to create amazing innovations is driven by the level of trust and connection within the team. Product managers need to pause to build the trust and connection.

Reduce Stress: Product management is one of the most stressful careers in tech. We go for hours and hours, meeting to meeting without a break. We have sales teams demanding features, senior leaders changing roadmaps, and engineers who want us to outline every requirement to the nth degree. No one will give you that break; you have to find the time to give it to yourself. To be the best leader you can be, you need to have the discipline of pausing. In those pauses, you can manage your stress, focus on product strategy, and really solve those challenging problems in front of you.

The discipline of pausing isn’t complicated, and it can enable you to become strategic, manage stress, and level up in the world of product management.