Post reinforcement pause

After completing a substantial task a pause will follow. It is marked by a feeling of being “done” and a desire to do work or something that is completely different than the previous project.


Years ago I noticed a pattern of disquiet after finishing book projects. I felt spent, exhausted, and wondered if I could continue creating books – had I done it all? Should I get a job “flipping burgers” as one friend described the feeling. The more taxing the project the worse I felt after it was completed.  My goal was to complete a task but once it was completed I felt desolate.


When I shared this with my behavioral friend, Dr. N.K. Schilmoeller, she said that the experience is known as the “post reinforcement pause.” After completing a significant task, the mind and body needs time to recover. The feelings of confusion and lethargy are signs that it is time to take a break. So, I am honoring my accomplishment and taking time to recover by resting and focusing on different activities which will help the mind move through the discomfort. Next month I will show you the completed and bound book, Revolution, 50 Years Later. 

In the meantime, I am enjoying the last days of summer, working in the garden and eating lobster. Thanks for reading this blog, Nancy

my website            my bookdealer’s website

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One Response to Post reinforcement pause

  1. Congratulations Nan! Can’t wait to see the pictures of the finished book. Have an extra bowl of blueberries for me!

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