March 18

When you are stuck on a project, it can be helpful to hit the pause button and let things sit for a while. Breaking away from the work for a season can give you a fresh perspective when you return to it. However, there are two types of pauses, and knowing the difference can determine your outcome.

Incubation is when you allow a project to “bake” for a bit while you immerse yourself in new stimulus and experiences. You know the specific questions that need to be answered to make progress, and you intentionally seek them while working on other things. You know what you need to begin work again. This type of pause is strategic, for a season, and with the express purpose of picking the project back up at a specific time to push it forward.

Stagnation is when you simply drop a project during a difficult season with no strategy for picking it back up. You put it on the back burner but haven’t taken the time to consider what starting again will look like. It is purposeless procrastination.

Don’t confuse the two types of pauses. Be strategic, and embrace incubation.

Discern the difference between a strategic pause and a lazy one.

Is there a project you’re working on right now that could benefit from strategic incubation?

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