At some point, we started rewarding motion more than achievement. Being busy (or at least looking busy) became as important as accomplishing something. We cared about input more than output. What was lost in all this hustle and flow was the idea of the pause. We missed out on the chance to take a rest, refuel, and then carry on with a renewed sense of focus so that we could actually do more and be better after resting a spell.
My daughter is now starting to figure out the remote control. She's learned that Mommy or Daddy can fast forward through the scary parts of Finding Nemo or Tangled. She's also learning that the pause button can stop a film in its place, and that lots of things can happen during a pause.
Leo Babauta recognizes the power of the pause and recommends pausing before giving into any urge, whether it's to smoke or work more. Taking time to ask oneself "Why"? can recenter us and refocus our efforts and prevent behavior we don't find beneficial.
Once, during an interview, I paused for 10-15 seconds after each question asked. I announced before the interview began that I'd be doing this because I wanted to be sure to give thoughtful answers. It was me versus a team of five and because I called my shot, these didn't feel like awkward silences. And, it was the best interview I've ever given. I didn't get the job, but I left feeling great about my performance (and in the end, it's a great thing I wasn't offered the gig).
A pause can be our friend. Your urge to rush towards frenzied action is actually your enemy. Your pause is the awkward friend that may not always be cool, but is always right. Listen to her.