Why You Get More Done When You Work LessBook - 2016
A Silicon Valley strategist challenges beliefs about the value of harder work in today's demanding world, combining scientific research with the examples of minds ranging from Darwin to Stephen King to explain that qualitative, deliberate rest is an essential component of productivity. 25,000 first printing.
"Rest is such a valuable book. If work is our national religion, Pang is the philosopher reintegrating our bifurcated selves."
Overwork is the new normal. Rest is something to do when the important things are done-but they are never done. Looking at different forms of rest, from sleep to vacation, Silicon Valley futurist and business consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang dispels the myth that the harder we work the better the outcome. He combines rigorous scientific research with a rich array of examples of writers, painters, and thinkers---from Darwin to Stephen King---to challenge our tendency to see work and relaxation as antithetical. "Deliberate rest," as Pang calls it, is the true key to productivity, and will give us more energy, sharper ideas, and a better life. Rest offers a roadmap to rediscovering the importance of rest in our lives, and a convincing argument that we need to relax more if we actually want to get more done.
A Silicon Valley strategist challenges beliefs about the value of harder work, combining scientific research with the examples of minds ranging from Darwin to Stephen King to explain that qualitative, deliberate rest is an essential component of productivity.
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Pang, a writer and scholar, has written a well-researched book which examines the importance of rest in our lives. He claims that we need to rethink rest as simply the absence of work and look at it as work’s partner. Both work and rest are necessary for a good life. In today’s world where stress and overwork are considered a badge of honour we need more than ever to be diligent about rest. We need to look at rest as a deliberate activity, not something to do when we’ve finished everything else. Rest is something we have to learn how to do well. According to the author, it is possible to rest in ways that are challenging and rewarding, that make you happier and healthier and literally make your mind work better. The author devotes chapters to the benefits of walking, naps, sleep, hobbies, vacations, travel, sabbaticals and regular exercise. He concludes by proclaiming that over the course of a life, deliberate rest restores your energy, gives you more time, helps you to do more, and encourages a focus on doing the things that matter while avoiding those that don’t.
If someone told you that you could feel better while working less and getting more done, you would probably think they were selling snake oil, or at least methamphetamines. But in Rest, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is making exactly that contention, while bringing the science to back it up. Pang’s core thesis is that rest and work are interdependent rather than opposing forces in our lives, and that this idea is backed up by psychology, neuroscience, and sports medicine. Pang cites a variety of scientific studies from around the world, on subjects such as sleeping, napping, exercise, and creativity in order to show how these activities—which occur outside of work—come together to profoundly influence productivity and creative thinking on the job. He also looks into the lives of figures like Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, and Dwight Eisenhower, to show how they incorporated restful practices into their daily routines while also producing great work, or operating under extremely stressful circumstances.
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"Research is now frantic," he warned, and this meant that fast, superficial science-- and lots of it-- won over slower, deeper, and more profound work. (re: Santiago Ramon y Cajal)
Rest is not something that the world gives us. It’s never been a gift. It’s never been something you do when you’ve finished everything else. If you want rest, you have to take it. You have to resist the lure of busyness, make time for rest, take it seriously, and protect it from a world that is intent on stealing it.
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